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Birth Weight

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Summary

Birth weight is the first weight of your baby, taken just after he or she is born. A low birth weight is less than 5.5 pounds. A high birth weight is more than 8.8 pounds.

A low birth weight baby can be born too small, too early (premature), or both. This can happen for many different reasons. They include health problems in the mother, genetic factors, problems with the placenta and substance abuse by the mother.

Some low birth weight babies may be more at risk for certain health problems. Some may become sick in the first days of life or develop infections. Others may suffer from longer-term problems such as delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities.

High birth weight babies are often big because the parents are big, or the mother has diabetes during pregnancy. These babies may be at a higher risk of birth injuries and problems with blood sugar.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in

Related Issues

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.)
  • (MAGIC Foundation)
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in

Statistics and Research

  • (Health Resources and Services Administration)
  • (National Center for Health Statistics)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • (Nemours Foundation)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

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