Disparities of Low Birth Weight Babies
Low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams) is one of the leading causes of infant mortality, and low birth weight infants who survive are at an increased risk of having developmental disabilities. One of the goals of Healthy People 2010 is to eliminate health disparities, and one of the Healthy People 2010 objectives (16-1c) is to reduce the prevalence of low birth weight infants to 5%. There is a significant disparity in the proportion of low birth weight infants born to black and white women. Data shows that black women are twice as likely as white women to deliver a low birth weight baby. One of these factors may be whether the pregnancy was unintended (mistimed or unwanted). Previous studies have found that unintended pregnancies may be related to poor birth outcomes like low birth weight, because women who have unintended pregnancies are more likely to engage in risky behaviors during their pregnancy that can affect the health of their babies. For example, women who have unintended pregnancies are more likely to smoke, more likely to receive delayed or no prenatal care, and are less likely to report daily vitamin use. In general low birth weight babies bring family stress in long term care of the baby, social problems and financial problems. Once the mother is diagnosed with a low birth weight baby. She is then directed to go to a neonatal doctor to educate her for the soon to be born baby. And they also try to help the other members of the family with ways to best take care of the child. The social worker taught them about available resources like Well-Baby Clinics and Wic Program etc.
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