NRS 434 Topic 1 DQ 1 Discussion: Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community Essay

NRS 434 Topic 1 DQ 1 Discussion: Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community Essay

NRS 434 Topic 1 DQ 1 Discussion: Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community Essay

Effect of Extremely Low Birth Weight Babies on the Family and Community
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies are those weighing below 1,000 grams (2 pounds, 3 ounces) at birth (Van de Pol & Allegaert, 2020). ELBW babies have profound effects on families. Parents of these babies experience more child-related stress and often report depression compared to parents with normal-weight babies. Families also experience adverse socioeconomic impacts of caring for these children (Van de Pol & Allegaert, 2020). The community also experiences extreme socioeconomic burdens to care for ELBW babies. The short-term effects of prematurity include the need for special care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), respiratory distress and immature brains, increased risk of longer hospital stay, readmission, and high mortality rates. The long-term effects of prematurity include mental retardation, poor health and growth, cerebral palsy, and visual and hearing impairments. Other long-term effects include the risk of chronic diseases, learning challenges, socio-emotional and behavioral issues, and ADHD (Van de Pol & Allegaert, 2020).

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The socioeconomic implications of ELBW babies reduced self-esteem, poor social interaction, ADHD, high cost of neonatal care, and high cost linked to living with disabilities both for families and the public health care system. The ELBW babies need ongoing care even after addressing the weight issues. These babies are prone to lifelong conditions such as chronic conditions, poor health and growth, mental retardation, and visual and hearing impairments. As such, there is a need to provide continuous care and education to improve their health outcomes (Van de Pol & Allegaert, 2020). Some of the comorbidities associated with prematurity include haring issues, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). They usually lead to mortality or lasting disabilities.
Disparities in the cultural and ethnic groups may contribute to ELBW babies in the sense that families with lower socioeconomic status may be faced with various challenges such as stress, malnutrition, smoking and alcohol abuse, poor prenatal care, and addiction that may lead to the birth of ELBW babies (Ro et al., 2019). The identified support service to assist preterm infants and their families is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2022). WIC provides federal grants for states for nutrition education for pregnant mothers with low income, supplemental diets, infants who are at nutritional risk, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and health referrals.

Ro, A., Goldberg, R. E., & Kane, J. B. (2019). Racial and ethnic patterning of low birth weight, normal birth weight, and macrosomia. Preventive medicine, 118, 196-204. Doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.10.012
U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2022). Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, infants, and Children (WIC). Food and Nutrition Service U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Van de Pol, C., & Allegaert, K. (2020). Growth patterns and body composition in former extremely low birth weight (ELBW) neonates until adulthood: a systematic review. European Journal of Pediatrics, 179, 757-771.


Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community. Consider short-term and long-term impacts, socioeconomic implications, the need for ongoing care, and comorbidities associated with prematurity. Explain how disparities relative to ethnic and cultural groups may contribute to low-birth-weight babies. Identify one support service within your community to assist with preterm infants and their families and explain how the service adequately addresses the needs of the community or a population in your community. Provide the link to the resource in your post.

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