NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

Describe the effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community. Consider short-term and long-term impacts, socioeconomic implications, the need for ongoing care, and comorbidities associated with prematurity. Explain how disparities relative to ethnic and cultural groups may contribute to low-birth-weight babies. Identify one support service within your community to assist with preterm infants and their families and explain how the service adequately addresses the needs of the community or a population in your community. Provide the link to the resource in your post.

Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies are in most times born premature. They are quite susceptible to various risks during their early lives. According to Sims, et al., (2016), low weight in new born babies could be as a result of different factors, either preventable or unpreventable. Examples of preventable risks include alcohol and drug abuse, smoking cigarettes, inadequate nutrition, poor prenatal care, physical abuse, or lack of adequate resources throughout the pregnancy period. On the other hand, some of the unpreventable factors may include intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) or even premature birth. ELBW weight babies affect their families and immediate communities in different ways.

To begin with, mothers who abused drugs or smoked during the pregnancy will feel the guilt once they realize their new born is ELBW. Secondly, the baby may cause family stress, emotional drainage and be at a state of desperation to the family members. The baby will be financial, physical and emotional burden to the family. The community on the other hand may be forced to employ professionals to help in combating the low-weight-babies` related problem; be it healthcare or offering educational services to the members of the community. The available resources will have to be split inconveniencing the community`s budget (Sims, et al., (2016).


According to Sims, et al., (2016), ELBW babies may have difficulties when it comes to regulating body temperature because of the little body fat. The child might be born with under-developed lungs, weak immune system making them hard to fight infections. ELBW babies may have difficulties when feeding due to impaired rooting reflexes or fatigue. At some point, the family may feel burdened neglecting or even abusing the baby. Lastly, ELBW are at the risk of developing neurological impairment, affecting their day to day activities for the rest of the lives (Sims, et al., 2016).

Babies born with low weight need a continuous care, even after their conditions have successfully been dealt with. They will still have their diets closely monitored, frequent check-ups and even immunized against possible conditions. Lifelong impact on health is addressed through promotion of newborn and infant screenings, immunizations, and wellness visits (Green, Z. S, 2022). The initiative is having success in reducing the rates of prematurity, occurrence of newborns with low-birth weight, and infant mortality rates (, n.d). Disparities from ethnic and cultural groups can lead to low birth weight babies in many ways which includes the type of food intake for a particular cultural group and the nutritional balance within what they are consuming, environmental factors within a particular setting, educational opportunities, and most of it all the cultural health literacy rate and how they choose to assess health care when the need arises. Nurses should be keen with cultural competency in order to understand various ways of life of a particular group and how to approach individuals when it comes to health and cultural education. Resources should be provided for individuals at risk if appropriate, depending on their need of health education assessed by the nurse.

However, these complications have been addressed in Chillicothe, Ohio, by the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative (OPQC). It is statewide consortium of perinatal practitioners, policy makers, hospitals, and government entities that is dedicated to reduce ELBW babies, preterm births, and improve maternal and birth outcomes in Ohio. It offers educative resources to parents on what to do in order to have healthy pregnancy (OPQC, 2023).




Green, S. Z. (2022). Health Assessment Foundations for Effective Practice. Second Edition. Chapter 1. Health Assessment of the Infant, p. 31. GCU, Copyright ©️ 2022. (n.d.). Maternal, infant, and child health.


Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative (OPQC) (2023). Key Issues in Maternal & Infant Health in Ohio


Sims, M., Sims, T., & Bruce, M. (2016). ). Community income, smoking, and birth weight disparities in Wisconsin. J Natl Black Nurses Association.



    • Hello xx, I agree with you on your post,  extremely Low birth weight babies are usually born premature and faced with different health challenges from birth and might linger until later in life. The need for continuous care will bring long hospital stay, frequent visits to hospital and  financial burden to families. Disparities in ethnic and cultural groups has contributed in preterm birth resulting in extremely low birth weight babies. Due to limited or poor access to health care women are not able to start  prenatal care  visit. Early prenatal visit will help to reduce the incidence of extremely low birth weight. Newborn wellness check, immunization will help in the promotion of the new born health(Green,S. 2022) Family support. program at the NICU unit helps families with their emotional and psychological needs .




      Green, S. Z. (2022). Health Assessment Foundations for Effective Practice. Second Edition. Chapter 1. Health Assessment of the Infant, p. 31. GCU, Copyright ©️ 2022.



    • Good evening ,

      Your post on extremely low birth weight babies (ELBW) provides very useful information for parents that could use education on the topic. You mentioned that ELBW babies will often need continuing care after they are born due to some of the associated health effects of an infant being ELBW. This is an important consideration when dealing with disparity bearing populations that may have trouble managing the financial and mental tolls that a ELBW baby can have on a family (Mowitz, 2022).


      References :


      Mowitz, M. E. (2022, December 23). Burden of comorbidities and healthcare resource utilization among Medicaid-enrolled extremely premature infants. Journal of health economics and outcomes research.,mortality%20or%20long%2Dterm%20disabilities.


    • Hi !

      I agree with your point of view!

      Short-term and long-term complications associated with ELBW infants strain healthcare resources, contributing to increased healthcare costs for society. Promoting accessible prenatal care, as emphasized by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2020), can play a vital role in reducing the incidence of ELBW births. Nurses can provide cultural competency and resources, reducing disparities among ethnic and cultural groups.


      American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020). Preterm Birth. NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

    • This is a great overview, . ELBW babies can have significant impacts on their families and communities. The guilt experienced by mothers who abused drugs or smoked during pregnancy can be overwhelming, as they may feel responsible for their baby’s low birth weight. This guilt can lead to emotional stress and strain within the family unit. The financial burden of caring for an ELBW baby can also cause stress and strain on the family, as they may struggle to afford the necessary medical care and resources for their child. The community may be affected as well, as they may need to allocate resources to support the healthcare needs of ELBW babies (Green, 2022). This can strain the community’s budget and potentially limit resources available for other community members. Additionally, the community may need to provide educational services to families of ELBW babies to support their ongoing care needs. The health challenges faced by ELBW babies can further impact their families and communities. Difficulty regulating body temperature, respiratory issues, feeding difficulties, and potential neurological impairments can all require ongoing medical care and support. This can place a significant burden on the family and community, as they may need to provide extra care and resources to address these challenges.


      Green, S. Z. (2022). Health Assessment Foundations for Effective Practice. Second Edition. Chapter 1. Health Assessment of the Infant, p. 31. GCU, Copyright ©️ 2022.


    • Hello

      Researching this topic has shown the improvement that has been made in ELBW babies. The gains that were made from working with these babies has been monumental in increasing their life expectancy. However there is still a large gap between low birth weight and babies who are in the targeted weight.”The often complicated medical outcomes in extremely premature infants have generated discussion of the ethics of investing medical and financial resources in those infants who are on the border of viability.”( Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2007). This puts an emphasis on teaching and educating expecting mothers of their roles in the health of their babies.


      Eichenwald, E. C., & Stark, A. R. (2008). Management and outcomes of very low birth weight. New England Journal of Medicine358(16), 1700-1711. NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community

NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community Read

Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) is defined as a birth weight of <1000g (PubMed,2017). ELBW can be caused by intrauterine growth restriction and prematurity (WHO, 2023). Low birth weight can indicate maternal health, nutrition, healthcare delivery, and poverty. Families who have children with ELBW experience more stress due to medical risks and mortality. Neonatal complication and long hospitalizations can negatively impact families. Some long-term impacts include the following: (PubMed,2017)

  • Neurologic disability
  • Impaired language development
  • Impaired academic achievement
  • Increased risk for chronic diseases
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes (PubMed,2017)

Preterm infants have additional risk factor that include the following:

  • Immaturity of multiple organs
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Respiratory distress
  • Sepsis
  • Blindness
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (PubMed,2017)

Social determinants of health often play a role in birth outcomes. Birth outcomes are shaped by maternal risk factors, health behaviors, exposure to acute/chronic stress, access to economic and social resources (PubMed, 2019). As nurses we implement interventions and provide education to provide safe patient care. Early interventions during the prenatal care can help reduce the incidence of ELBW. Providing information of community resources are also helpful for the patient and patients family. Ethnic and cultural groups contribute to the prevalence of low-birth-weight newborns. Low birth weight can be common for some cultural groups. Some factors that influence the incidence of ELBW are poverty and lack of medical services.

In Texas, there’s the Hand to Hold organization. This organization provides personalized support before, during, and after NICU stay (Hand to Hold, 2023). Their mission is to help families thrive. They provide news articles, counseling, loss and bereavement support, podcast, peer-to-peer mentor programs, and support groups.


Cutland CL;Lackritz EM;Malolett-Moore T;Bardají A;Chandrasekaran R;Lahariya C;Nisar MI;Tapia MD;Pathirana J;Kochhar S;Muñoz FM; ; (n.d.). Low birth weight: Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of Maternal Immunization Safety Data. Vaccine.

JB;, R. A. R. (n.d.). Racial and ethnic patterning of low birth weight, normal birth weight, and Macrosomia. Preventive medicine.

Support for NICU parents: Hand to hold: Free emotional support. Hand to Hold. (2023, September 19).




    • ‌Hello

      Your post underscores the critical implications of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) on both neonatal health and long-term outcomes. Building upon this, it’s noteworthy to mention that early detection and management of maternal risk factors during prenatal care significantly contribute to minimizing the incidence of ELBW. Pérez-Jorge et al. (2021) explain that educational programs targeting at-risk populations can enhance awareness and encourage proactive health measures. Additionally, collaborative efforts with community organizations, like Hand to Hold in Texas, exemplify the significance of providing comprehensive support systems for families navigating the challenges associated with ELBW. It’s imperative to emphasize the role of cultural competence in healthcare delivery, recognizing the influence of ethnic and cultural factors on birth outcomes. By tailoring interventions to the specific needs of diverse communities, healthcare professionals can enhance the efficacy of their support. Overall, a holistic approach that addresses both medical and social determinants of health is crucial in mitigating the impact of ELBW and fostering healthier outcomes for both newborns and their families NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community.


      Pérez-Jorge, D., González-Luis, M. A., Rodríguez-Jiménez, M. del C., & Ariño-Mateo, E. (2021). Educational programs for the promotion of health at school: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(20), 10818.

    • Good evening


      Your post on extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW) provides great insight on the effects of ELBW in infants and I found it to be very informative. It is important to educate family members about the effects of ELBW in infants and its associated complications and potential lifelong effects. Certain things put infants at higher risk for extremely low birth weight such as economic disparity, ethnicity and some genetic factors that may complicate birth weight (Mowitz, 2022).


      References :


      Mowitz, M. E. (2022, December 23). Burden of comorbidities and healthcare resource utilization among Medicaid-enrolled extremely premature infants. Journal of health economics and outcomes research.,mortality%20or%20long%2Dterm%20disabilities.


NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community Read

Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies, typically weighing less than 2.2 pounds (1,000 grams) at birth, can have profound effects on both the family and the community. In the short term, families of ELBW babies often experience heightened stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil due to the critical health condition of their newborn. The uncertainty surrounding the baby’s survival and potential complications can be overwhelming. Additionally, Anil et al. (2020) assert that the immediate medical needs of an ELBW baby can result in significant financial burdens. Families may face increased medical expenses, reduced income due to parental leave, and other related costs. The admission of ELBW babies to NICUs places additional strain on healthcare resources, requiring specialized equipment, trained personnel, and dedicated facilities, leading to increased demand for neonatal care services. In the long term, ELBW babies are at a higher risk of developmental delays, learning disabilities, and chronic health conditions such as respiratory issues, cerebral palsy, and vision or hearing impairments. The long-term healthcare needs of ELBW babies can impose continued financial strain on families. The emotional toll of caring for a child with ongoing medical needs may affect the family’s overall well-being and social dynamics.

Socioeconomic implications arise as parents may face difficulties maintaining regular employment due to the ongoing care needs of their ELBW child, leading to challenges in balancing work and caregiving responsibilities. Extended family and community support systems may become crucial in helping families cope, but they can also become strained due to the demands of caring for an ELBW baby, potentially affecting the overall resilience of the community. Ongoing care for ELBW babies involves specialized medical monitoring, therapy, and intervention throughout childhood. This care may alter family dynamics, affecting relationships between parents, siblings, and extended family members. Communities should invest in and expand resources for early intervention programs, educational support services, and healthcare infrastructure to address ELBW children and their families’ unique needs.

Disparities related to ethnic and cultural groups can significantly contribute to the occurrence of low-birth-weight (LBW) babies. Socioeconomic factors play a crucial role in contributing to LBW disparities. Lower income levels are often associated with limited access to quality healthcare, including prenatal care. Ethnic and cultural groups facing economic challenges may experience barriers to adequate medical services, leading to a higher likelihood of LBW babies. Similarly, disparities in educational attainment can affect health literacy and awareness about prenatal care practices, as ethnic and cultural groups with lower educational levels may lack essential knowledge about nutrition, prenatal screenings, and healthy behaviors during pregnancy. Ratnasiri et al. (2018) highlight that access to and quality healthcare services represent another significant factor. Barriers to accessing timely and comprehensive prenatal care, such as language barriers and discrimination, can hinder early and consistent care, increasing the risk of LBW.

Environmental and behavioral factors contribute to LBW disparities as well. Certain ethnic and cultural communities may be more likely to reside in areas with environmental hazards, such as pollution or inadequate housing conditions. Additionally, cultural practices related to diet, lifestyle, and healthcare-seeking behaviors can vary, with some practices inadvertently contributing to poor maternal and fetal health. Psychosocial factors, including stress and discrimination, play a role in LBW disparities. Ethnic and cultural minorities may experience chronic stress due to discrimination, socioeconomic challenges, and cultural disparities, which have been linked to adverse birth outcomes. Differences in social support structures and community networks can also impact maternal well-being, with ethnic and cultural groups experiencing limited social support, facing challenges in managing stress, and accessing resources that promote healthy pregnancies. Lastly, genetic and biological factors contribute to LBW disparities. Variations in genetic susceptibility among ethnic and cultural groups can influence the likelihood of LBW.

One notable support service for preterm infants and their families in my community is the “NICU Family Support Program” offered by March of Dimes. This program is designed to cater to families with premature infants’ unique needs, providing comprehensive support during their NICU stay and beyond. The NICU Family Support Program focuses on addressing the emotional, informational, and practical challenges that families of preterm infants often encounter. One key aspect of the program is providing emotional support through trained social workers and support groups. Moreover, the program offers informational resources to help families understand the medical complexities associated with premature birth. Practically, the NICU Family Support Program assists families in navigating the logistical challenges associated with having a preterm infant. This aspect may involve helping families access financial resources, facilitating communication with employers regarding parental leave, and coordinating community resources for ongoing care and support after the infant is discharged from the NICU. What makes this support service particularly effective is its tailored approach to the community’s diverse needs. Recognizing that each family’s situation is unique, March of Dimes (n.d.) explains that the program offers personalized assistance that addresses the preterm infant’s immediate medical needs and the entire family’s holistic well-being. This support service contributes significantly to the resilience and well-being of preterm infants and their families in our community by providing a continuum of care beyond the NICU stay.


Anil, K. C., Basel, P. L., & Singh, S. (2020). Low birth weight and its associated risk factors: Health facility-based case-control study. PLOS ONE15(6), e0234907.

‌March of Dimes. (n.d.). NICU Family Support.

Ratnasiri, A. W. G., Parry, S. S., Arief, V. N., DeLacy, I. H., Halliday, L. A., DiLibero, R. J., & Basford, K. E. (2018). Recent trends, risk factors, and disparities in low birth weight in California, 2005-2014: A retrospective study. Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology4, 15.

    • Hello xx. I agree that some babies with low birth weight are healthy despite being small. However, having low weight at birth can cause serious health problems for some babies. A baby who is very small at birth may have trouble eating, gaining weight, and fighting off infections. Some may have long-term health problems, too. Effective intervention during children’s first years can buffer them from the adverse effects of low birth weight babies. Parent-based intervention is The most common intervention for low birth weight children. Parenting interventions effectively increase responsiveness and warmth, promoting children’s development and well-being. In one widely studied program, participating mothers received ten home visits from trained facilitators over their children’s first year (Schieve et al., 2019). The curriculum was designed to counsel mothers about positive parenting behaviours, increase their awareness of their babies’ signals and needs, and help them incorporate effective strategies into their daily routines. Follow-up studies found that the program increased responsive and sensitive caregiving, improving infants’ social and cognitive outcomes, especially among low birth weight babies.


      Schieve, L. A., Tian, L. H., Rankin, K., Kogan, M. D., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Visser, S., & Rosenberg, D. (2019). Population impact of preterm birth and low birth weight on developmental disabilities in US children. Annals of epidemiology26(4), 267-274. NRS-434VN Topic 1 DQ 1 – Effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community