Did you know that a baby born at a low birthweight can lead to serious health risks that last for the baby’s entire life? On average in the United States, one out of every twelve babies is born at a low birthweight, or under 5 pounds, 8 ounces.  The health consequences of being born underweight are staggering. Babies born at a low birthweight are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and become obese later in life. These babies are also at a greater risk of having what is known as metabolic syndrome which occurs when you are afflicted with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Studies have shown that babies born at a low birthweight are also more likely to be blind, deaf, have cerebral palsy and developmental delay.

Ways to avoid delivering an underweight baby include staying away from alcohol, drugs, and tobacco products during pregnancy. Infections during pregnancy are another major cause of having a baby with a low birthweight so regular doctor visits will enhance the health of your child. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight during pregnancy will also help ensure that you deliver a healthy baby. Taking these measures can have massive benefits for your baby since the consequences of being born at a low birthweight may lead to health problems that last a lifetime.  Learn more about how to minimize your risk of delivering a baby with a low birthweight here.