Low birth weight and preterm babies in United States is increasing. Low birth weight babies are babies who are born with the birth weight of less than 5 lbs. either due to preterm delivery or due to restriction of growth inside the uterus. These low birth weight babies are at increased risk for early death and long-term health and developmental issues than infants born later in pregnancy or at higher birth weights. Not all preterm infants are low birth weight, and vice versa.
Racial/Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities:
Disparities in racial and culture exist with preterm and low birth weight infants. According to child health USA 2010 report, low birth weight infants who were born to non-Hispanic black women were more than the infants born to other racial and ethnic group. The infants born to non- Hispanic black women was 3.0 percent whereas the infants born to non- Hispanic white women was only 1.2 percent. The American Indian was 1.3 percent and the all other races were 1.5 percent with low birth weight infants.
Causes for preterm and low birth weight babies:
Previous delivery of low birth weight babies or preterm deliveries. Teen of age less than 20 years or advanced maternal age of greater than 35 years. Any maternal health problems such as hypertension, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s). Use of substance abuse during pregnancy such as alcohol, cigarette smoking and cocaine use. Low socio-economic status with no medical insurance, Lack of nutrition at the time of pregnancy. Physical and mental stress during pregnancy.
Violence, abuse or exposures to secondhand smoke are some of the causes for preterm and low birth weight infants (Morrin, 2008, p.8). Impact on family and society:
Preterm and low birth weight infants possess greater risk not only for the infants, but also for the families and the society as well. The impact of very low-birth-weight infants on the family is long lasting. Preterm infants born at less than 34 weeks are...
References: APHA: Policy Statement Database. (August 11, 2006). Retrieved April 15, 2014, from http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/policysearch/default.htm?id=1326
Morrin, J. (2008, September). Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Low Birth weight for Connecticut. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/family_health/health_disparities_in_lbw_final_report_10_1_08.pdf
Preemie Care -RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) Awareness & Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.preemiecare.org/supportgroups.htm#NJ
Very Low Birth Weight - Child Health USA 2010. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2014, from http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa10/hstat/hsi/pages/203vlbw.html.
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