New Cohort Study Revealed Various Risk Factors Linked To Low Baby Birth Weights

These included the treatment of underlying physical health conditions like anemia and diabetes, promoting pregnancy planning with healthy intervals and maternal weights, addressing maternal mental health conditions, and understanding pre-term birth history and history of multiple births.

“The most important risk factors include maternal factors such as smoking, maternal weight, substance misuse record, maternal age along with deprivation, pregnancy interval, and birth order of the child,” explained Amrita Bandyopadhyay, the study’s lead researcher.

“So, resources to reduce the prevalence of LBW should focus on improving maternal health, reducing pre-term births, increasing awareness of a sufficient pregnancy interval, and providing adequate support for mothers’ mental health and well-being.”

This large study spanned two decades and provided invaluable insight into the numerous risk factors that result in low birth weight. And according to Kieran Walshe, the Direct of Health and Care Research Wales, it represents the successful use of pre-existing data resources.

“It is a powerful example of how researchers can use routinely collected data to help improve care for both mothers and babies without putting additional pressures on frontline healthcare professionals,” Walshe said.

Now, the researchers believe their findings provide healthcare professionals with tangible recommendations for focusing prevention efforts and reducing low birth weight incidence rates among newborns.

To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in BMJ Open, visit the link here.

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