Medical Problems Associated With Low Birthweight Babies

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

NEC is an intestinal problem that typically develops in low birthweight babies two to three weeks after they’ve been born. NEC can lead to abdominal swelling, feeding issues and other complications. Babies who develop NEC are given antibiotics and are fed through an IV until it heals. In the most severe cases, the damaged portions of the intestine are surgically removed.

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

When blood vessels in the eye grow abnormally, it is called ROP. ROP can lead to vision loss or blindness. In most cases, this condition heals itself, but the most severe cases require an ophthalmologist to treat the eye.

The best prevention of low birthweight related medical problemsĀ are to do everything in your power to have a full-term and healthy pregnancy. If your doctor has reason to believe that you may give birth prematurely, he may suggest you take corticosteroids, which will increase the rate of maturity of the baby’s lungs. Corticosteroids may also reduce the risk of many low birthweight related conditions.


Low birthweight. (2008, May). Retrieved from

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