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The Potential Complications of Low Birth Weight

Was your baby premature? If so, your baby likely had a lower birth weight than normal. Babies weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces are considered low birthweight, whether or not they’re premature. Those babies who weigh less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces at birth are classified as very low birthweight. The average baby weighs 7.6 pounds at birth. 

What does a baby born with a low birthweight mean in terms of your child’s health? Some babies born weighing less than a normal weight are fine, but many are at risk for complications, especially those that are premature. 

Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy, with two offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, assists many babies, toddlers, and children who were low birthweight babies. Pediatric occupational and speech therapy can help your child achieve milestones, but at his or her own pace. 

A low birthweight means your baby may not have enough strength to fight infections or stay warm without being in an incubator. Your baby may have developmental delays that result from the low birthweight. 

Those babies who weigh less than 3.3 pounds are at the highest risk for physical and neurological delays. When you bring your baby home, he or she may have difficulty eating and staying healthy. The less a baby weighs, the more he is at risk of significant complications.  

Following are potential complications of low birthweight in babies.  

Difficulty in sucking and swallowing

Some low birthweight babies have difficulty sucking and swallowing, which can perpetuate your baby’s condition. Our therapists offer feeding therapy to you and your baby to help him or her gain enough nourishment to thrive. 

Low oxygen at birth 

If your baby had low oxygen levels at birth, serious conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, seizures, and behavior problems could result. Our therapists work with children who have these conditions and similar issues. Our work encourages your child to function at the highest level and to develop skills for an independent life. 

Gastrointestinal issues 

Your baby may not be able to adequately digest the milk he or she is receiving. If your baby had necrotizing enterocolitis and has lingering intestinal issues, we coordinate with your health care team to help your baby through feeding therapy. 

Developmental delays 

If your baby has either physical or neurological developmental delays, our experienced therapists employ speech and/or occupational therapy strategies to ensure your child reaches his or her potential in every domain. 

Perhaps your baby isn’t yet crawling or walking according to milestones. Perhaps he or she isn’t beginning to form words on a normal schedule. Whether it’s a physical issue like weak muscles from hypotonia, a speech delay, or a neurological issue, we’re here to help your child realize solid accomplishments.

Call Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy today, or book an appointment online, to schedule a consultation. You’ll be able to see our classroom and how we interact with our young charges. We’re here to complete the health care team for your child.

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