Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Underweight Baby


A baby is considered underweight if the birth weight after 9th months of pregnancy is less than 2.5kg

What are the common reasons for the baby to be underweight?

The birth weight of the baby is genetically determined. If both parents are small size, most of the time the baby is small as well.

Sometimes, the baby is small because the growth potential is affected.

Among the factors that can influence the growth potential of the baby:

1) Mother’s living lifestyle is under constant stress
2) Lack of nutrition and vitamin
3) Pregnancy less than 1 year after the last childbirth
4) Placenta is not functioning normally to supply food to the baby.
5) Baby may has underlying congenital diseases, such as heart diseases
6) Baby acquires infection inside the womb.





What are the problems associated with low birth weight?

Sometimes, the underweight baby may pass motion inside the womb and requires emergency caesarean.
A low birth weight baby has a higher chance of jaundice (黃疸) in the first few days of life.
They are also prone to infection due to weak immune protection.
Some of the low birth weight baby may have learning disability and behavioural problem in the future.





A jaundiced baby under photo light treatment



What should I do to make sure my baby is growing normally inside my womb?

First of all, you need to modify your lifestyle during pregnancy period.
You are not advised to smoke, consume alcohol , take excessive coffee and tea.
You need to have 8 hours of sleep everyday.
During every visit to see your doctor, the doctor will monitor the growth of the baby by using scan to estimate the baby weight.
Sometimes, Colour Doppler Scan is done to assess the function of placenta and the blood flow in the umbilical cord.


Colour Doppler Scan