If you have just given birth, one of the first concrete data that you will have about your baby is his weight and height. The weight of your baby is an important indicator of your health. On average, a baby born between 37 and 41 weeks of gestation weighs about 7 pounds or 3.2 kilograms.However, for genetic reasons or as the pregnancy has developed and the time of delivery (if it is before week 37 or after 40), some babies may be born weighing little and others more than what is considered normal.
Many moms I know have told me that when they give birth, beyond receiving flowers and congratulations, there is something that overwhelms them: the question of how much their baby weighed. This is because the weight of the newborn speaks of his health in general. For example, babies who are born weighing very little are more likely to have health problems. This is because babies lose about 10 percent of their birth weight during the first week of life. This means that a baby of average weight of 7 pounds or 3.2 kilograms can lose as much as 10 ounces in the first few days.
Babies with low birth weight are more likely to develop infections and get sick during their first days of life. Others may have problems in motor development (movement) or difficulties in their long-term learning.
In general, if a baby is born with a very low weight, it means that it is premature , that his mother had complications during pregnancy, that he abused some substances (often illegal), that he had problems with the placenta, or it could simply be a genetic factor.
But, what happens if a baby is born weighing more than normal? This may be due to the fact that their parents are large or that the mother gained a lot of weight during pregnancy and / or had gestational diabetes . Very heavy babies have a higher risk of birth injuries and problems with blood sugar levels.
Barely born, doctors or midwives carefully examine the baby and weigh him. If the pregnancy was normal and the weight is very low or very high, they will analyze what the reason may be. But regardless of whether you were born premature or in the womb after the 40th week of pregnancy, the following factors can influence your baby’s weight at birth. Take note:
- The health of the baby: if it has a problem such as a congenital defect or an infection that may have affected its growth in the uterus.
- The size of the parents.
- The weight of the mother before getting pregnant. If she weighed less than normal, she is more likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby. If, on the other hand, you were overweight, your baby may be born heavier. It is considered normal for a woman to gain at least 10 kilos or 22 pounds during pregnancy.
- Gender: girls tend to be less heavy than boys at birth.
- Multiple pregnancy : if you have twins, twins or triplets you can expect your babies to weigh less than normal as they share space in the womb. In addition, it is common for the birth of a multiple pregnancy to occur sooner than expected, so there is a chance that they will be born prematurely.
- Mother’s diet during pregnancy: a healthy diet that includes many fruits and vegetables is essential for the optimal growth of your baby. It is also recommended to take prenatal vitamins and any other supplement that your doctor tells you.
- The order of babies at birth: it is common for the first child to be less heavy than their siblings.
- The age of the mother: women under 20 years of age or over 45 are more likely to give birth to a baby with a low birth weight.
- The health of the mother in general: a pregnant woman should not be exposed to tobacco or secondhand smoke and should not drink alcohol or use drugs. Also, you should be very careful when using medications and you should always check with your doctor if you are going to take a selling medication. This also applies to herbs and supplements . It is important that you always consult your doctor before.
Now you have a more complete idea of the factors that influence the weight of the baby at birth, whether born with a low weight or born with excessive weight. The pediatrician can answer any other questions or doubts you may have and will guide you in your nutritional plan so that you can help them in their development and stay healthy in the future.