A study of maternal factors influencing very low birth weight babies

Mani Madhavan Sachithanantha Mooorthi, Balakrishnan Nadesan, Ezhilarasu Ramalingam, Sivaraman Thirumalaikumarasamy


Background: Very low birth weight (VLBW) infants present one of the greatest medical and ethical challenges to the medical field. Although they represent a small percentage of overall birth and NICU admissions, VLBW infants are often the most critically ill and at the highest risk for mortality and long-term morbidity of any NICU patients. The present study was conducted with aim to find out the maternal risk factors related to VLBW of newborn.

Methods: This prospective case control study was conducted in Govt. R.S.R.M Lying in Hospital, which is affiliated to Stanley Medical College, during the period from January 2005- December 2005. The data related to maternal and new born variables were collected and evaluated by using Chi square test. P value less than 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.

Results: The incidence of VLBW newborns was found to be 2.08%. The most common cause of VLBW is preterm delivery (84%). Maternal factors like age, weight, parity, literacy, mid arm circumference, income, bad obstetric history of the mother and birth interval showed a significant association with the incidence of VLBW of the infants (P <0.05). Antenatal visits, maternal occupation and maternal disease had no significant (P >0.05) influence on the delivery of VLBW babies.

Conclusions: In the present study, incidence of VLBW was associated with the maternal factors like age, parity, literacy, nutritional status, income, birth interval and previous history of bad obstetrics. Hence, the study concludes that pregnant women need to be careful of all these above factors so as to avoid VLBW babies. 


Maternal factors, New born variables, Very low birth weight

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