When a baby is born less than 5 pounds 8 ounces they are considered low birth weight. The implications for a low birth weight baby can
be tremendous for the family, an individual family has limitations of resources therefore support from the community is usually necessary. There are short and long term effects related to babies born with low birth weight. In the short term issues such as bonding, financial hardship, scheduling visits with parents and family, and the stress of the current situation are factors that should be considered when planning care. In the long term issues such as financial,stability, access to health care resources, and the reality that chronic illnesses such asthma or developmental delays are considered. The support and resources that are available to parents of low birth weight babies will determine the level of socioeconomic hardship the family faces. Organizations like Fred’s Footsteps, https://fredsfootsteps.org/, “provide direct financial assistance for non-medical expenses, such as household bills, to make up for gaps in income as well as one-time extraordinary expenses, like medical equipment or home modifications” (Fred’s Footsteps, 2019). Organizations like this can help families by providing resources such as financial assistance, and home care or help if needed. Organizations like Fred’s Footsteps also address the needs of the community by enhancing community engagement. The organization holds events, takes donations, and offers opportunities for volunteering. With increased awareness comes increased unity among the community among all spectrums; many times bringing people together in situations like this can boost community health on a comprehensive level. “In the United States, black women are more likely than others to have a low-birth weight baby” (March of Dimes, 2019). Disparities related to race and ethnic group can play a big part in the occurrence of low birth weight babies, for example, African American’s are at a high risk for hypertension, Hispanic American’s have a high prevalence for obesity, and Native Americans are at a high risk for altered mental health; any of these conditions can directly affect a growing fetus. The effects of a low birth weight baby can be tremendous for family, but the sole fighter is the child. Life will be a little different for these kids, there may be more limitations, less outings, and increased anxiety for parents that can sometimes reflect onto the child. Conditions like the common cold can be detrimental to these kids, viruses like RSV can become very scary for parents as the child already is pre-disposed to respiratory difficulty.
Fred’s Footsteps. (2019). Retrieved from https://fredsfootsteps.org/
March of Dimes. (2019). Complications & Loss, Preterm Labor and Premature Birth, Low Birth Weight. Retrieved from
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