A Thorough Look at Low Birth Weight Babies

There are some things the mother can do to prevent her baby being born with a low birth weight.

Have a preconception checkup

By getting a checkup prior to conceiving, the doctor can provide the woman with diagnostic tests to screen for high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease and various other conditions that can lead to a low birthweight. Making sure vaccinations are current and ensuring that her medications are safe for pregnancy will also help prevent a baby born with low birthweight.

Low Birth Weight Babies

Control current health issues.

By making sure that a woman’s high blood pressure, diabetes or other chronic health issues are under control prior to conception, she has a much greater chance of giving birth to a baby with a normal weight.

Take folic acid.

Folic acid has been proven to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain or spine, especially if it is taken before conception. A prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended. Taken during pregnancy, folic acid can help prevent low birth weight and premature delivery.

Stop smoking.

As difficult as it may be to quit, by quitting you’ll be giving your baby the best possible chance of being born at term and with a healthy baby weight.

Discuss previous pregnancies.

If the woman has had a previous pregnancy that resulted in premature delivery or a low birth weight baby, the doctor may suggest progesterone hormone treatments. Studies show that this hormone therapy can reduce a woman’s chance of another baby with a dismal weight by about 33 percent.

A woman’s best chance of having a normal full-term delivery is to take care of herself and get regular checkups during her pregnancy.

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Low birthweight. (2008, May). Retrieved from http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1115/mainpageS1115P0.htmlhttp://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/medicalresources_lowbirthweight.html

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