Birth Weight

Thursday, November 27, 2014

If theres one way in which parents want their babies to be average, it might be when it comes to weight. Dr. Edward Hill discusses birth weight in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Birth weight is the first weight of your baby, taken just after he or she is born. The average baby weighs about 7.5 pounds. A newborn is considered to have a low birth weight when he or she is less than 5.5 pounds. A high birth weight is more than 8.8 pounds.

A low birth weight baby can be born too small, too early or both. This can happen for many different reasons. They include health problems in the mother, genetic factors, problems with the placenta and substance abuse by the mother.

Some low birth weight babies may be more at risk for certain health problems. Some may become sick in the first days of life or develop infections. Others may suffer from longer-term problems such as delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities.

High birth weight babies are often big because the parents are big, or the mother has diabetes during pregnancy. These babies may be at a higher risk of birth injuries and problems with blood sugar.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.