Low Birth Weight

Topics: Childbirth, Pregnancy, Obstetrics Pages: 2 (515 words) Published: September 16, 2007
Recent breakthroughs in neonatal care might have an indirect effect on low-birth weight

For the last 20 years, thanks to advances in neonatal technology, doctors were able to save babies whose time spent in the womb had to be shortened because of particular problems. Those preterm childbirth also seem to pose a problem of low-birth weight among the babies conceived with the help of neonatal technologies. Low birthweight is a weight of less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces, low birth weight can cause heart & respiratory diseases as well as mental retardation. It is said that advances in neonatal technology, which in turn often lead to earlier deliveries have contributed to the increases of low birth weight babies.

The improvement of neonatal technology can detect problems on the fetus that would need a premature delivery to be taken care of. There has recently been a succesion of advances in the domain of neo-natal technology. New methods and materials appeared such as MRIS or sonograms that allow us to follow the development of a fetus at every step of its maturation. (qtd. in Nash 70). Those improvements of neo and prenatal care enable doctors to save more babies life as they allow to detect the problems of a fetus early and therefore increase the chances to save him. (In the Suburbs, ... B3). But often early delivery is a prerequisite to a baby's neonatal treatment. Those problems need, in order to be fixed, that the obstetrician delivers the baby before the end of the nine months period of a normal pregnancy. They have to interrupt the pregnancy before the usual 38 to 42 weeks to be able to intervene efficiently. (In the Suburbs..., B3). Therefore, because neonatal technologies need to intervene on a baby before the end of the pregnancy, it increases the number of early delivery.

Those early deliveries can result in low birth weight because the baby is not fully developed. As a matter of fact, low birth weight is frequently the result of an early delivery....
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