Brazilian Natural Medicine

Underweight baby – Tua Saúde

An underweight baby is one that is born weighing less than 2.5 kg, which can be diagnosed as small for gestational age during pregnancy.

It can be identified that the baby is underweight through ultrasound examination, during pregnancy or shortly after birth. When the doctor identifies that the baby is underweight for the gestational age, he should advise the mother to rest and eat properly.

Causes of underweight baby

Generally, the causes of the baby being born underweight are related to a placental insufficiency, which is the inadequate blood supply from the mother to the baby. Possible causes of placental insufficiency can be:

  • Hypertension,
  • Diabetes,
  • Prolonged pregnancy, i.e. babies born at more than 9 months of gestation,
  • Due to smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption, or
  • Pregnancy of more than 2 babies at the same time.

However, in some cases, the cause of the underweight baby being born is not identified.

Underweight baby, what to do:

What you should do with a baby who is born underweight is to dress him properly because these babies tend to feel very cold and ensure that he is fed properly so that he can gain weight healthily.

These babies may have greater difficulty in breastfeeding, but despite this, the mother should be encouraged to breastfeed several times a day, avoiding using artificial milk. However, when the baby is unable to gain enough weight just by feeding at the breast, the pediatrician may suggest that after the feeding, the mother gives a milk supplement adapted to the baby, to ensure adequate intake of nutrients and calories.

Other care for a low birth weight baby

Other important precautions for taking care of a low birth weight baby include:

  • Keeping the baby in a warm place: keep the room at a temperature between 28ºC and 30ºC and without drafts;
  • Dress the baby according to the season: put on one more piece of clothing than the adult person, for example, if the mother has a blouse, she should wear two to the baby. Learn more at: How to know if your baby is cold or hot.
  • Take the baby’s temperature: it is recommended to evaluate the temperature every 2 hours with a thermometer, keeping it between 36.5ºC and 37.5ºC. See how to correctly use the thermometer in: How to use the thermometer.
  • Avoid exposing the baby to polluted environments: the baby should not be in contact with smoke or many people due to the fragility of the respiratory system;

In addition to these precautions, it is important to know that the baby should only take the first vaccines, such as the BCG and Hepatitis B vaccine, when he weighs more than 2 kg and, therefore, he often has to be vaccinated at the health post.

Useful links:

Always consult a doctor.

Verified by RJ985 – Brazilian natural medicine CMIO.org

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