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Prenatal Development
- Low Birth Weight -

Ψ  Low Birth Weight (LBW): Weight at birth of less than 5 1/2 pounds

    Risk Factors - LBW, Preterm Birth

      Ψ  Physical factors
        Ψ  High dosage of a psychoactive drug
          Ψ  Extreme stress
            Ψ  Chronic exhaustion
              Ψ  Infection

    Risk Factors - LBW, Small for Gestation Age (SGA).

      Ψ  Maternal use of psychoactive drugs ( tobacco/nicotine is the worst )
        Ψ  Maternal Malnutrition

Ψ   IntraUterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

•   Intrauterine growth restriction is a term for a baby who is smaller than normal during pregnancy. The baby is not growing at the normal rate inside the uterus. These babies usually have a low weight at birth. Babies who have IUGR are more likely to have health problems (both during pregnancy & after birth).

•   IUGR has various causes. A common cause is a problem in the placenta (the tissue that carries oxygen, food & blood to the baby). Birth defects & genetic disorders can also cause IUGR.  If the mother has an infection, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, is smoking, drinking alcohol or abusing drugs, her baby is at risk. Sometimes prescribed medicines that the mother is taking cause IUGR.

new  Virtually all the many risk factors for LBW correlate with poverty.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

       note  Kangaroo care is a form of skin-to-skin contact between a parent & their preterm baby. The baby, wearing only a diaper, is held in an upright position against the parent 's bare chest. The baby is held this way for 20 minutes to four hours a day. This is called Kangaroo Care because it is similar to the way a baby kangaroo is snuggled against its mother.

Benefits to the baby may include:
             * Increased parent-infant bonding
             * Comfort from hearing the parent's heart beat
             * Earlier breast-feeding
             * Decreased time spent in the hospital
             * Increased ability to keep warm
             * Increased deep sleep states
             * Decreased breathing pauses & apnea
             * Increased oxygen level
             * Decreased number of slow heart rate spells

Benefits to parents may include:
             * Increased parent-infant bonding
             * Increased breast milk supply
             * Earlier breast-feeding
             * Continuous breast-feeding for longer periods of time
             * Increased readiness for discharge
             * Increased confidence in ability to care for baby
             * Increased sense of control
             * Increased ability to cope with the stress of having a high-risk infant

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates