Assignment: Low Birth Weight Babies
Assignment: Low Birth Weight Babies
Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community. Consider short-term and long-term impacts, socioeconomic implications, the need for ongoing care, and comorbidities associated with prematurity.
Premature babies are common patients in the hospital setting. Low birth weight babies are defined as infants weighing under 5lbs 5oz while babies listed as extremely low birth weight are less than 2lbs 3oz (Bird, C. 2020). Having an extremely low birth weight child can put hardship on a family due to the added stress of increased hospital stays, possible surgical procedures needed, and the uncertainty of the future considering the looming possibility of long-term effects of prematurity. Parents and families can experience large financial burdens, extended time spent away from their other children, and time off from their jobs. Extremely low birth weight babies are considered a “vulnerable population” showing an increase in their risk for lower-than-average IQ scores as well as “academic and behavioral problems” (Fernandez, C. et al, 2021). According to the March of Dimes, babies that are born at low birth weights have an increased risk for developing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease (2021). Environmental factors such as exposure to lead or toxic substances can cause extremely preterm labor, therefore effecting the outlook on a community who has a large number of babies born with extremely low birth weight. Cities where pregnant women are living close to power plants or factories that emit high levels of pollution are at an increased risk. Cities that have poor management of their landfills and waste centers increase the risk of women giving birth to babies with adverse effects (Woods, N. et al, 2017). These environmental risk factors, when discovered, can highlight a city as being a risk to the health of its’ residents and place a negative outlook on the area.
African American women have roughly a thirteen percent chance of having a low-birth-weight baby, the highest of all ethnicities (March of Dimes, 2021). African Americans have an increased chance of birthing multiples, thus increasing the risk that their infants are born with extremely low birth rates. Certain cultures such as Native Americans, who lack health literacy and do not rely on medical professionals for care, are less likely to seek medical care during pregnancy therefore they also have an increased risk of extremely low birth weight infants.
Here in Fort Worth, Texas, there is a very well-known program for the support of families with preemie babies. It is known as NICU Helping Hands. This program is a hospital-based program that supports the families of preemie babies through several individual programs. Project NICU is a service that provides additional information to families with NICU babies to increase their health knowledge and addresses the emotional needs these families have. The NICU Mom Connect provides a community of mothers who are experiencing similar hardships and allows them to connect with one another to provide knowledge and support. The Helping Hands program also works within communities to provide education on premature babies, risk factors for low birth weight, and takes donations to help with the financial burden for these families.
Bird, C. and Nzeh, V. (2020). Low Birth weight Baby Risks, Types, and Causes. https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-is-a-low-birth-weight-baby-2748477
Fernandez-Baizan, C., Alcántara-Canabal, L., Solis, G., & Mendez, M. (2021). The association between perinatal and neonatal variables and neuropsychological development in very and extremely low-birth-weight preterm children at the beginning of primary school. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 10(4), 348–358. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/21622965.2019.1709464
March of Dimes. (2021, June). Low Birth Weight. https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/low-birthweight.aspx
Woods, N., Gilliland, J., & Seabrook, J. A. (2017). The influence of the built environment on adverse birth outcomes. Journal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 10(3), 233–248. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.3233/NPM-16112
Explain how disparities relative to ethnic and cultural groups may contribute to low birth weight babies.
Identify one support service within your community to assist with preterm infants and their families and explain how the service adequately addresses the needs of the community, or a population in your community. Provide the link to the resource in your post.
Consider the following patient scenario:
A mother comes in with 9-month-old girl. The infant is 68.5cm in length (25th percentile per CDC growth chart), weighs 6.75kg (5th percentile per CDC growth chart), and has a head circumference of 43cm (25th percentile per CDC growth chart).
Describe the developmental markers a nurse should assess for a 9-month-old female infant. Discuss the recommendations you would give the mother. Explain why these recommendations are based on evidence-based practice.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
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Discussion Questions (DQ)
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