Monday, February 6, 2012

LBW Prevention

As I finished the latter of this book, I thought I would be able to come to a conclusion of what causes low birth weight. However, it seems to me that the question will be hard to answer even in the near future. From looking at the studies, all we can do is take preventive measures because what we DO know is that low-birth weight has many harmful consequences. And so, the idea that “family histories of low birth weight should be taken into account in eligibility and benefit-level criteria” was stunning to me. This is because it is a simple thing to do. And this procedure can be done in almost all patient settings. When patients check-in for an appointment at a hospital, all they need to do is check off a box whether or not their parents were low-birth weight babies. I’m not sure if the information is easily accessible. However, once it is found, I believe it will be useful information. It states, “Attention to birth weight status may help parents, teachers, and physicians recognize and refine treatments for disability and developmental delay (153).
I believe this statement is very true but there seems to be no implementation of this idea. It has been almost 10 years since this book has been published and a simple standard for medical histories like this is yet to be made. Thinking further about this issue, I realized the issue of low-birth weight babies is not known to the public as much as it should be. I also would not have been aware if it weren't for this course. The latter chapters also mention how government programs can help prevent LBW babies but this made me question how the minorities of NY would benefit out of this. Most of the minorities of NY are immigrants and they are also undocumented-which means that they can't take part in these government programs. I wonder what kind of preventive measures can be taken for them at this time. Overall, I feel like the awareness level for the effects of LBW babies are not high enough. And resources to prevent the issue are not available for everyone.  


  1. The issue of not enough education on the dangers of low birthweight is not simply due to oversight or ignorance, I believe it is one of the issues deeply rooted in the structure of healthcare in this country. The way Healthcare is delivered in this country is a mess, and most families who need it most are uninsured and/or have no access to primary care. I work in pediatrics/OBGYN at a hospital in Brooklyn which largely handles with undeserved communities, and the education these women receive is dismal. Those on Medicare have very quick down-and-dirty information classes taught by the nursing staff, which might cover all the basics of prenatal care in half an hour. Throughout the pregnancy and young years, the only medical insight provided is through occasional 15 minute visits (after hours waiting) at the busy hospital. This stands in stark contrast with those who have quality insurance, and primary care physicians available around the clock. The difference in personal attention given by a physician to a pregnant women of low and high income is remarkable. I believe that this is the fundamental issue that needs to be addressed to resolve the birth weight discrepancy.

  2. I agree with you, I also thought that I was going to receive a decent reason for what causes LBW and how it can be prevented. I also think that when they look at birthweight the samples they observe are too large and too general. But to get accurate results they would have to run inhumane tests, and that's why we still don't have conclusions. I also agree with Donald that low and high income mothers have a huge difference of attention which they receive while pregnant. I think that every woman should be educated the same way about her infant, especially the low income ones so that once they give birth it is easier for them to raise their child since they wouldn't have to spend extra money for medical and health related costs.