The current unhealthy lifestyle is the prime reason behind several complications in pregnancy. Consequently, there is a significant rise in the number of low birth weight babies. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 14% infants in low-income countries weigh less than 2.5 kg at birth. A low infant birth weight poses several future health risks for the mother as well as the baby. Moreover, the infants are at the risk of newborn mortality. Additionally, it affects their neurocognitive functions and can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke in the future. The mothers of low weight babies are also at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Use of Customized Birth Weight Centiles Aided Research
As per a new study carried out in New South Wales, consuming a healthy diet can reduce the risk of giving birth to a low-weight baby. The researchers promoted healthy eating habits in specific regions of Wales to analyze the results. The findings suggested that there was less occurrence of low weight babies after adopting a healthy diet. Moreover, there was a reduction in health complications related to pregnancy. Professor Ros John, from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences said that the study will help in improving mother and infant health.
Researchers used customized birth weight centiles to get precise data of infant birth weight. They emphasized on factors such as gestational age, sex, maternal height, ethnicity, and weight. They considered these aspects as they directly affect fetal growth. The results derived from this study aided in classifying infants as small, average, and large for gestational age. Further, they asked 300 pregnant women in Wales to complete a food frequency questionnaire prior to giving birth. They analyzed these findings alongside the statistical data derived from birth weight centiles. The results suggested that women following a healthy dietary pattern were less likely to deliver small for gestational age babies.