Causes of Low Birth Weight in Babies

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One of the prominent concerns for most of the parents is the low birth weight in newborn. Statistically, low birth weight contributes to around 80% of the neonatal deaths worldwide. And most of these low birth weight babies are born in the developed countries. Preterm birth or babies born before 37th week of the pregnancy falls into the categories of the low birth weight. And they account to around 10% globally.

What is the low birth weight?

Babies weighing less than 2.5 kg fall into the category of the low birth weight while the average birth weight remains eight pounds. Almost 6% of all the babies are born low weight, and it is not the fact that all the babies born of low weight don’t have medical problems or conditions.

Here are some of the causes of the low birth weight in the new-born:

The reasons for the low weight born babies might be many, and they can also range from hereditary to health issues or conditions. They can also be due to the dietary habits of the parent during pregnancy. Here are some of the main causes of low birth weight in babies:

  • Premature birth – If the new-born is born before 37th week, then they are called as premature babies. In general, babies gain weight in the later part of the pregnancy and babies born early might have less time to gain weight, and that is the reason premature babies are low in birth weight.
  • High blood pressure – When the mother has high blood pressure during the pregnancy, then the flow of the blood through the placenta is blocked and thereby resulting in the lower birth weight of the infant.
  • Consuming a lot of alcohols – Intake of drugs, nicotine, or other alcoholic contents eventually affects the weight of the baby and thus impacts her weight. As these substances release chemicals into the placenta alters the oxygen levels of the baby and thus affects their growth and development.
  • Uterus abnormalities – Any malfunctions or uterus related problems of the parent might restrict the growth and development of the baby leading to the low birth weight.
  • Diabetic related issues – if the mother is diabetic, it also affects the weight of the new-born and sometimes results in the premature condition.
  • Pregnancy infections – Due to the low immunity power, the pregnancy days are prone to several infections. The medications, drugs and treatments will eventually affect the growth of the baby and resulting in the weight loss.
  • Unbalanced or improper diet – No weight gain during the pregnancy or not having enough food required for the baby to grow or malnutrition results in the low birth weight. For the baby to grow, it requires enough nutrients and minerals to develop where your food plays a major role.


The condition of the baby depends on the weight of the baby born during the time of birth. It is necessary to take utmost care during the pregnancy to clear the possibilities of giving the low weight babies, and the above causes might help you to take the best care during the pregnancy days.

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