The Effects Of Low Birth Weight On Infants

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The term low birth weight is used in describing infants weighing less than 5 lbs 8 ounces (2500g) whereas the average weight is 8 lbs (Stanford, 2015). An infant with a low birth weight has a significantly higher chance of neonatal and perinatal mortality (Maheswari & Behera, 2014). Babies who do persevere and survive are documented of having inadequate neurosensory, cognitive, behavioral development and limited school performance (Guyatt & Snow, 2004). Shiono and Behrman (1995) state that infants with low birth weight consist of 7% of live births, however, 35% of the cost of health care goes towards caring for low birth weight infants. Studies show that African American infants are twice more than Caucasian infants to have a low birth weight. To bring a life into this world takes more than conception; sacrifices need to be made, nurturing, and providing a safe home for the child, but many minorities struggle to fulfill these needs. Health and health care are imperative when it comes to being an expecting mother; therefore, it is important that to address what influences the birth weight of African American infants in my research paper. I hope to address how factors such as racial discrimination within the American health care system, prenatal care, stress, and the age of the mother contributes to the low birth weight (LBW) disparities between African American infants and Caucasian infants. Being born into poverty is out of an individuals’ control. David and Collins (1997)

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