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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Pregnancy and Low Birth Weight - The Diagnosis & Preventions

Low birth weight is a condition of a baby who was born below the weight of gestational age due to several reasons, including, the baby was born too soon, were small for gestational age, the poor health of the mother, nutritional deficiency, certain diseases, etc. According to the statistic of the World health organization, globally, more than 20 million infants were born with low birth weight.

Diagnosis
If you have previous low weight birth, if you feel the baby is not growth large enough, please consult with your doctor. Since there is no symptom to identify the abnormality, follow-up exams are necessary including ultrasound.

Prevention
A. How to avoid
1. If you have previous low birth weight baby, it is imporant that you make sure your are at the optimal health and all chronic illness are under controlled before you get pregnant again to lower the risk of low birth weight incidence. Believe or not, the rate of 2 consecutive low birth weight baby is very low in a healthy woman.

2. Stop smoking
Women who smoking during pregnancy are at twice as risk to give birth of a low eight baby that non smoking women.

3. 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P).
In some case, when it is absolutely necessary, injection P17 may be given, depending to the diagnosis. Acording to the study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2379-85), showed that 17P treatment reduced preterm birth by 34 percent in women pregnant with a single baby who had a previous preterm delivery.

4. Balancing diet
For more information of healthy diet, please visit 100+ Healthy Foods Classification
The American Pregnancy Association recommends alterations to your diet, including
4.1. Protein
Protein in your foods positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy,
a. 75 to 100 grams of protein per day as it can be divided into 2-3 servings of meat (1 serving = approximately 3 ounces/ size of a deck of cards) from chicken lean beef, lamb, pork, nut and tofu (1 serving = approximately ⅓ cup), etc.
b. 2-3 servings of legumes (1 serving = approximately ½ cup) such as red and white kidney beans,black beans, navy beans etc..

4.2. Calcium
Daily requirement of calcium is around 1000 milligrams during pregnancy. Calcium helps your body regulate fluids, and it helps build your baby’s bones and tooth buds, such as milk (1 serving = 1 cup), eggs (1 serving = 1 large egg), yogurt (1 serving = 1cup),pasteurized cheese (1 serving = approximately 1.5 ounces/ or 4 playing dice stacked together), tofu (1 serving = ½ cup), etc.

4.3. Iron
In combination with sodium, potassium, and water, iron helps increase your blood volume and prevent anemia. A daily intake of 27 milligrams is ideal during pregnancy.
a. 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables (1 serving = approximately 1 cup)such as collard turnip, spinach, lettuce, etc.
b. 3 servings of whole grains (1 serving = approximately. ½ cup or one slice), such as bread, cornmeal, cereal, oatmeal, etc.

4.4. Folate/Folic Acid
Folic acid plays a key role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Experts recommend 600 to 800 micrograms (.6 to .8 milligrams) daily.
a. 2 servings of dark green leafy vegetables (1 serving = approximately 1 cup), such as collard, turnip, spinach, lettuce. etc.
b. 2-3 servings of fruit (1 serving = approximately ½ cup), such as orange, strawberry, lemon, mango, tomato, etc.

4.5. Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C will help with wound healing, tooth and bone development, and promotes metabolic processes. Experts recommend at least 85 milligrams per day. 3 servings of fruit or vegetables (1 serving = approximately ½ cup), such as orange, strawberry, lemon, mango, tomato, etc. (Source)

4.6. Etc.
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