Low birth weight has become a widespread issue in the context of US infant care. According to the latest data, about 8% of kids in the state are born with a weight lower than 5 pounds and 8 ounces (“Low birthweight,” 2018). In many cases, such a condition does not expose children to serious health hazards, but it is of paramount importance to ensure that the risks of having low weight are eliminated at an early stage.
As far as low birth weight effects are concerned, the short-term implications include eating patterns disorder and immune system deterioration. The long-term risks concern chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes, high blood pressure, and developmental disabilities (“Low birthweight,” 2018). When it comes to the impact on families, it is important to outline economic insecurity, as families are to cover extra financial burdens such as neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) diagnostics (Lakshmanan et al., 2017). Moreover, family members experience high levels of stress-related to the potential implications of low body weight while they are to secure ongoing care for the child.
As far as the community is concerned, the number of infants born with insufficient body weight drastically impacts public health patterns, as newborns are more likely to struggle with infections and chronic conditions in the future. Another issue of extremely low body weight is also related to the ethnic and cultural patterns of preterm birth. According to the statistics, approximately 13% of black babies are born with low birth weight as compared to the 7% indicator among white babies (“Low birthweight,” 2018). The notion of comorbidity, or the presence of two and more diseases simultaneously, is also more likely to occur in babies with low body weight. To address the issue, activists nationwide created an organization aimed at assisting and mentoring parents dealing with infants undergoing NICU experience by the parents dealing with it in the past and neonatal professionals. Detailed information about NICU Parent Network (NPC) support and membership may be found on the following website: https://nicuparentnetwork.org/.
Lakshmanan, A., Agni, M., Lieu, T., Fleegler, E., Kipke, M., Friedlich, P. S.,… & Belfort, M. B. (2017). The impact of preterm birth< 37 weeks on parents and families: A cross-sectional study in the 2 years after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 15(1), 1-13. Web.
Low birthweight. (2018). March of Dimes. Web.