Topic1 DQ 1

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Please write a
paragraph with your opinion based on the text bellow. Please include citations
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Research has shown that certain ethnic and cultural groups are at risk for giving birth to low birth weight or preterm babies. According to a study in 2007, underprivileged and African American women have two times the rate of preterm births and higher rates of growth restriction (Goldenberg & Culhane, 2007). Women from South Asia and especially of the Indian subcontinent have very high rates of fetal growth restriction and low birth weight (Goldenberg & Culhane, 2007). Cultural beliefs and health values as well as access to adequate health care and nutrition contribute to the health of newborn babies.

The health care needs of low birth weight (lbw) babies have both short term and long term effects on the baby’s family and society as a whole. According to The Urban Child Institute the hospital cost for preterm/ lbw births in 2001 totaled $5.8 billion for the first year of life, of which Medicaid covers 42% of these cases (Prematurity and Low Birth Weight, 2012). The UCI also noted that an extra $51,000 would be spent throughout the child’s life (Prematurity and Low Birth Weight, 2012). Physical complications related to lbw infants include decreased brain development, respiratory problems, cerebral palsy, HTN, DM, coagulation abnormalities and heart disease (Wilson, 1999). Lbw children are more likely to use regular medications, require the use of “above average” health services, and have a need for special education. All of this can be a strain on family relations, child development, and drain the family financially.

Providing adequate prenatal health education and access to nutrition, prenatal testing, and support groups can help decrease the risk for having an lbw baby. Most local hospitals in my area now provide prenatal education that covers topics such as mother and baby nutrition, smoking or alcohol cessation, and vaccines. Agencies such as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Medicaid are instrumental in providing resources for nutrition and health care after birth. I have personal experience with Case Managers and Social Workers who have provided assistance in finding home health agencies and special education services to aid in child development.


Goldenberg, R., & Culhane, J. (2007, February 2007). Low Birth Weight in the United States 1,2,3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(2). Retrieved from

Prematurity and Low Birth Weight. (2012). Retrieved from…

Wilson, J. (1999, February 1999). The Barker Hypothesis: An Analysis. The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 39(1).

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