There are many causes of low birth weight in the newborn. Why do we worry? We want your newborn to be born healthy and not have complications after delivery.
Causes of low birth weight
Fetal infections: Infections such as Cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis are two very common causes, as well as German Measles, chickenpox, herpes. This is why we encourage you to be up to date with all your vaccines prior to becoming pregnant and not changing the Kitty litter during pregnancy.
Multiple gestation: Twins have to share the space so there is just not as much room for two to grow.
Placental disease: Anything that can compromise the placenta will cause problems for your baby. Smoking and vaping are two common and preventable causes.
Maternal Medical and obstetric conditions: This can affect the blood flow to the placenta and cause problems with the fetal growth. These conditions include:
- Misuse of cigarettes, alcohol, vapes, and other drugs like cocaine, crack THC, Heroin
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Environmental factors: Certain drugs pesticides, alcohol, tobacco, air pollution can all harm your baby during pregnancy.
Why do we worry? Low birth rate babies have a higher risk of requiring neonatal ICU care having respiratory failure and an increased risk of infection. They run a higher risk of sudden infant death. They can have problems longer term with mental development and intelligence.
Talk to your OB provider or your pediatrician for more advice.
A good mobile app to use is – “What to Expect” (free)