Preterm and low birth weight
Babies’ gestational age and birth weight are important parameters that helps in determining the survival, development and growth. When the weight of the baby is less than 2,500 gm at birth, it is termed as low birth weight.
|< 2500 gms||Low birth weight|
|< 1500 gms||Very low birth weight|
|< 1000 gms||Extremely low birth weight|
- Preterm birth: A baby is termed as preterm when babies are born before 37 completed weeks of gestation. Due to incomplete gestation period, the organs are underdeveloped and lead to low birth weight. Around ⅓ rd of the babies born with low birth weight are due to preterm birth.Babies with preterm birth have a higher risk of complications like Hyaline Membrane Disease (HMD), Intraventricular Haemorrhages (IVH), necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), feeding problems, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and Apnea of Prematurity (AOP).
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR): Babies that complete their gestation period also can be born with low birth weight. The reasons can be problems with the placenta, health problems of mother or health problems of baby. Around ⅔ rd of the babies born with low birth weight are due to intrauterine growth restriction.
Diagnosis of low birth weight:
Ultrasound scanning is a more accurate method to determine the growth. Ultrasounds also help in diagnosing uteroplacental insufficiency that is a major cause of IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction)
Treatment of low birth weight:
Appropriate therapy is initiated depending on the underlying conditions.
For babies with extremely low birth weight and very low birth weight, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) with intravenous proteins and lipids is administered.
Early initiation of mother’s milk, asepsis, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) helps in early discharge and shorter hospital stay.
Other medical conditions for the baby are dealt simultaneously too. For instance, meticulous respiratory support is given using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or with other major modes of ventilation. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) screening are done inhouse to detect vision and auditory problems in early period of life. Babies with low birth weight are given neurodevelopmental follow-up post discharge.
Giggles by OMNI is equipped with excellent neonatology team which has the skills to deal with all medical and surgical problems in neonates.