Babies with Low Birth Weight

Babies born with low birth weight are more likely than babies of normal weight to have health problems and require specialized medical care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Low birth weight is typically caused by premature birth and fetal growth restriction, both of which are influenced by a mother’s health and genetics. The most important things an expectant mother can do to prevent low birth weight are to seek prenatal care, take prenatal vitamins, stop smoking, and stop drinking alcohol and using drugs.

*This indicator shows the percentage of births in which the newborn weighed less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces).