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Tips To Handle An Underweight Baby
Consultant - Neonatologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida
When it comes to the weight of a newborn, every mother wants her baby to be healthy, unlike underweight children that are a point of concern for them.
Quick fact: Low birth weight contributes to 60 to 80 percent of neonatal deaths worldwide.
Low birth weight: Usually, low birth weight is primarily due to the premature delivery in which the weight of the baby is likely to be less than 2.5 kg, so it becomes significant to handle such cases with profound supervision. The neonatal intensive care unit is the place where care and protection is given to low birth weight or preterm babies. Motherhood Hospital has one of the best infant baby care hospitals specializing in rendering the best service for the baby that satisfies the caring notion of parents.
Underweight baby vs Normal baby
When a child is born underweight, that makes every mother worrisome. But how do you differentiate between a normal baby and an underweight baby? There are some differences that must be highlighted to understand the concept where the steps for treatment will follow.
An underweight baby usually weighs less than 2.5 kg unlike a normal baby that weighs in between 2.5 kg and 3.5 kg, and is physically smaller than a normal one.
While some underweight babies can be healthy, some are exposed to serious health problems that require treatment. Premature delivery is one of the common causes attributed to low birth weight of the baby as most of the normal babies are born at a right time, unlike a premature birth. A baby is considered premature when it is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy while as a normal baby is born between 37 weeks to 41 weeks.
Treatment for underweight babies
Here are some treatments that underweight babies might receive -
- Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
- Special medications
- Temperature-controlled bed
- Special care or feeding
The underweight baby may be born with complications and the doctor might try to treat the child by feeding it through a tube. They might also use an IV or an intravenous line to feed the child to give the necessary nutrition. It is significant for the concerned mother to visit the best maternity hospitals that have a specialized neonatal intensive care unit.
Tips to handle an underweight baby
If the underweight baby does not need any special care from the doctors, you, as a mother can follow the following tips to give the best nourishment to your underweight baby.
- Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is the best nourishment for any baby. If your baby is underweight, focus on making a schedule. You must breastfeed your baby quite often, following a strict routine to ensure feeding from time to time. It is ideal if you can breastfeed your precious little one after every two to three hours. Do not feed your little one anything other than breast milk as it contains much needed nutrition that promotes the growth as well as immunity to the baby.
- Massage your baby: Massage is good for all newborns. Underweight babies can also benefit from regular massages. Oil massages can help your baby gain weight at a consistent and steady pace. For the first few months, you can consider massaging your baby yourself for better results.
- Skin-to-skin contact: Skin-to-skin contact with your baby or ‘kangaroo care’ is proven to help your baby . Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin contact with your baby has multiple benefits such as maintaining the baby’s warmth, and regulating the baby’s heartbeat and breathing rates as well. Skin-to-skin contact also helps the baby get healthy sleep and the right nutrition from breast milk.
- Seek support and help: If your baby is still underweight after trying all the tips to handle its low weight, it might be more serious. It is best if you seek the right help from the right doctors to receive the best underweight treatment for your precious little one.
At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of experienced super specialists backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We have the best Neonatal specialists in sector48, Noida. Our Neonatology Department has expert neonatologists, paediatricians, paediatric surgeons, and nurses that are trained in new-born care.
Do take an appointment with the top Neonatal hospital in Chennai, Alwarpet. Meet our doctors, who will do the necessary investigations, identify the problem, and suggest the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life.
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