NRS 434 Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

NRS 434 Health Assessment

NRS 434 Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community


Most extremely low birth weight infants are the youngest of premature newborns. They are usually born at 27 weeks gestational age or younger. Extremely low birth weight infants are born with less than 1,500g (James, Wood, Nair & Williams, 2018).

Effects of extremely low birth weight babies on family and community

It is estimated that about 40% of babies born with extremely low birth weight end up with different disease conditions. Examples of such disease are blindness in both eyes, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic disease that requires special medications and frequent hospitalization. Birth of low-birth-weight babies has economic and emotional cost to the families. In addition, public sector services such as health insurance services, educational and social support system are strained because of giving birth to low-birth-weight babies.

Low birth weight babies, or babies weighing <2500g, already have many challenges awaiting them upon birth. There is a fair bit of research suggesting many long-term impacts such as ongoing care and follow-ups, comorbidities, and even some socioeconomic implications felt by the family and healthcare systems alike. According to Hack M, Schluchter M, Andreias L, Margevicius S, Taylor HG, Drotar D, & Cuttler L. (2011), “Researchers defined a “chronic health condition” as something that affected a child’s functioning or that required the use of special equipment or assistive services and included asthma and obesity. The researchers found that overall rates of chronic conditions were higher in ELBW children than among their NBW peers at age 14 years.” Though these findings may seem common among these age groups, understanding and identifying such findings early on allows healthcare providers the opportunity to treat/ manage these disparities prior to the disease progression.

Short-term and long-term impacts of low birth weight

The short-term impact is that babies of low birth weight require life support in the neonatal care unit due to high readmission risk. This is because the babies usually have immature brains and are in respiratory distress thus, needing ventilators. The long-term impacts of giving birth to low birth babies includes poor health and growth, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairment. Premature babies have exhibits learning difficulties, high risk of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, socioemotional and behavioral problems.

How disparity in ethnic and cultural groups contribute to low birth weight

At a great risk of premature and extremely low birth weights are infants of minority groups, the marginalized and the poor. Example of disparities among minority populations is native Americans and African Americans to non-Hispanic white births. Infants born of mothers of low socioeconomic rank like African American are more likely to be born prematurely.

Identify one support within your community to support preterm infants and families

Healthcare providers can carry out a developmental screening using evidence-based tools at 9, 18 and 30 months. In addition, a general screening should be done every month. Monitor the milestones closely in preterm babies. Focus should be on hypertonia, reflexes, abnormal movement, and posture.


Healthcare workers and the general public can be educated on the effect of preterm delivery and extremely low birth weight as public health issue.

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Replies to Stanley Ogbo

Hello Stanley, thank you for your submission. I agree that extremely low birth weight babies have developmental retardation in the

NRS 434 Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community
NRS 434 Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

short term, which causes learning disabilities in the long term. The child may need more time and attention, affecting the family function and even leading to financial constraints. People’s socioeconomic background, environment, and ethnicity affect their pregnancy because people from ethnic minorities may not have access to good health care and nutrition. Good nutrition during the early years helps the baby grow and develop well (Green, 2018). It is also essential to assist families with premature babies as nurses to locate resources and support groups to help them take care of low birth weight babies after discharge. what do you think about this?


Green, S. Z. (2018). Health assessment of the infant. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Dynamics in nursing: Art and science of professional practice.

  • JL

James Lokko

replied toStanley Ogbo

Jan 28, 2022, 10:30 PM


Replies to Stanley Ogbo

Hello Stanely, I am impressed with the kind of thought you have given. Let me say that either way, effects of low brth weight is heavy on the parents. From economical point of view, I will say that parents in most cases are forced to quit their jobs to be with their babies. In such a case, financial burden is transferred to the next available family member. Mentally, it affects the parents as the happiness of having a young one is taken away. I love you points and I must say that it is true that diver-station is among the effects of low birth weight.

NRS 434 Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

  • LP

Lily Polsky

replied toStanley Ogbo

Jan 30, 2022, 2:56 AM


Replies to Stanley Ogbo


Have you ever worked with Social Workers to help patients find resources?

Dr. Polsky


Ethel Kunaka

Posted Date

Jan 26, 2022, 11:52 PM(edited)


Replies to Stanley Ogbo

Normal birth weight is said to be 2 500 g,anything less is low birth weight. It is further categorized as very low -<1500 and extremely low which is less tan 1000 g (WHO). Abortion, congenital abnormalities, prematurity , low birth weight and fetal deaths may all be resultant of maternal exposure to environmental hazards (American College of Obs &Gyne, 2013: Scotland et al.,2013). Low birth weight babies have a huge impact on the the family and they need tender care and parents may have poor attachment to the child. They come with increased costs that strain the household budget to their everyday needs and care. The functionality of the family maybe affected as parents need to take more unpaid time off to be with the child. There is increased social isolation as they tend to have prolonged hospital stays and puts stress on the families and ultimately the community.

Low birth weight babies are a significant public health indicator of maternal health ,nutrition and poverty. This is because they come with long term neuro-disability, impaired speech development and increased risk of chronic illnesses. Conditions associated are respiratory distress, intra cranial hemorrhage, sepsis and blindness. Pre-term births are the leading cause of all under 5 child mortality globally.

Graham`s foundation was founded when parents of lost one of their twin preterm babies and named it after him. It guides, supports and educates the parents of a premature baby when they are still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit(NICU), life after NICU. This empowers parents and helps improve their outcomes for them and their little ones. In the event of loss, the foundation assist through the healing process and transition home.

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