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.

Health Assessment


Most extremely low birth weight infants are the youngest of premature newborns. They are usually born at 27 weeks gestational age or younger. Extremely low birth weight infants are born with less than 1,500g (James, Wood, Nair & Williams, 2018).

Effects of extremely low birth weight babies on family and community

It is estimated that about 40% of babies born with extremely low birth weight end up with different disease conditions. Examples of such disease are blindness in both eyes, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic disease that requires special medications and frequent hospitalization. Birth of low-birth-weight babies has economic and emotional cost to the families. In addition, public sector services such as health insurance services, educational and social support system are strained because of giving birth to low-birth-weight babies.


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Short-term and long-term impacts of low birth weight

The short-term impact is that babies of low birth weight require life support in the neonatal care unit due to high readmission risk. This is because the babies usually have immature brains and are in respiratory distress thus, needing ventilators. The long-term impacts of giving birth to low birth babies includes poor health and growth, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairment. Premature babies have exhibits learning difficulties, high risk of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, socioemotional and behavioral problems.

How disparity in ethnic and cultural groups contribute to low birth weight

At a great risk of premature and extremely low birth weights are infants of minority groups, the marginalized and the poor. Example of disparities among minority populations is native Americans and African Americans to non-Hispanic white births. Infants born of mothers of low socioeconomic rank like African American are more likely to be born prematurely.

Identify one support within your community to support preterm infants and families

Healthcare providers can carry out a developmental screening using evidence-based tools at 9, 18 and 30 months. In addition, a general screening should be done every month. Monitor the milestones closely in preterm babies. Focus should be on hypertonia, reflexes, abnormal movement, and posture.


Healthcare workers and the general public can be educated on the effect of preterm delivery and extremely low birth weight as public health issue.


James, E., Wood, C. L., Nair, H., & Williams, T. C. (2018). Preterm Birth and The Timing of Puberty: A Systematic Review. BMC Pediatrics, 18(1), 1-12.

thank you for your submission. I agree that extremely low birth weight babies have developmental retardation in the short term, which causes learning disabilities in the long term. The child may need more time and attention, affecting the family function and even leading to financial constraints. People’s socioeconomic background, environment, and ethnicity affect their pregnancy because people from ethnic minorities may not have access to good health care and nutrition. Good nutrition during the early years helps the baby grow and develop well (Green, 2018). It is also essential to assist families with premature babies as nurses to locate resources and support groups to help them take care of low birth weight babies after discharge. what do you think about this?


Green, S. Z. (2018). Health assessment of the infant. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Dynamics in nursing: Art and science of professional practice.

      Premature babies are common patients in the hospital setting. Low birth weight babies are defined as infants weighing under 5lbs 5oz while babies listed as extremely low birth weight are less than 2lbs 3oz (Bird, C. 2020). Having an extremely low birth weight child can put hardship on a family due to the added stress of increased hospital stays, possible surgical procedures needed, and the uncertainty of the future considering the looming possibility of long-term effects of prematurity. Parents and families can experience large financial burdens, extended time spent away from their other children, and time off from their jobs. Extremely low birth weight babies are considered a “vulnerable population” showing an increase in their risk for lower-than-average IQ scores as well as “academic and behavioral problems” (Fernandez, C. et al, 2021).

According to the March of Dimes, babies that are born at low birth weights have an increased risk for developing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease (2021). Environmental factors such as exposure to lead or toxic substances can cause extremely preterm labor, therefore effecting the outlook on a community who has a large number of babies born with extremely low birth weight. Cities where pregnant women are living close to power plants or factories that emit high levels of pollution are at an increased risk. Cities that have poor management of their landfills and waste centers increase the risk of women giving birth to babies with adverse effects (Woods, N. et al, 2017). These environmental risk factors, when discovered, can highlight a city as being a risk to the health of its’ residents and place a negative outlook on the area.

     African American women have roughly a thirteen percent chance of having a low-birth-weight baby, the highest of all ethnicities (March of Dimes, 2021). African Americans have an increased chance of birthing multiples, thus increasing the risk that their infants are born with extremely low birth rates. Certain cultures such as Native Americans, who lack health literacy and do not rely on medical professionals for care, are less likely to seek medical care during pregnancy therefore they also have an increased risk of extremely low birth weight infants.

     Here in Fort Worth, Texas, there is a very well-known program for the support of families with preemie babies. It is known as NICU Helping Hands. This program is a hospital-based program that supports the families of preemie babies through several individual programs. Project NICU is a service that provides additional information to families with NICU babies to increase their health knowledge and addresses the emotional needs these families have. The NICU Mom Connect provides a community of mothers who are experiencing similar hardships and allows them to connect with one another to provide knowledge and support. The Helping Hands program also works within communities to provide education on premature babies, risk factors for low birth weight, and takes donations to help with the financial burden for these families.


Bird, C. and Nzeh, V. (2020). Low Birth weight Baby Risks, Types, and Causes.

Fernandez-Baizan, C., Alcántara-Canabal, L., Solis, G., & Mendez, M. (2021). The association between perinatal and neonatal variables and neuropsychological development in very and extremely low-birth-weight preterm children at the beginning of primary school. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 10(4), 348–358.

March of Dimes. (2021, June). Low Birth Weight.

Woods, N., Gilliland, J., & Seabrook, J. A. (2017). The influence of the built environment on adverse birth outcomes. Journal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 10(3), 233–248.

Extreem Low Birth Weight babies, typically weighing less than 2.2 pounds at birth, can profoundly impact the family and the community. These effects include emotional and psychological stress, financial burden, increased care needs, and impact on siblings. Parents may experience shock, guilt, fear, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The presence of ELBW babies has a multifaceted impact on the family and the community, resulting in emotional, financial, and logistical challenges for the family, fostering community support, raising awareness, and driving medical advancements to improve the care and outcomes for ELBW babies. The short-term and long-term impacts of low birth weight (ELBW) babies include immediate medical care, neurodevelopmental challenges, developmental delays, educational difficulties, chronic health conditions, financial burden, parental employment, social support systems, and ongoing care needs.

Short-term impacts include immediate medical care, neurodevelopmental issues, sensory impairments, feeding difficulties, developmental delays, educational difficulties, chronic health conditions, financial burden, parental employment, social support systems, and ongoing care needs. Long-term impacts include developmental delays, educational difficulties, chronic health conditions, financial burden, parental employment, social support systems, and ongoing care needs. ELBW babies require ongoing medical and developmental follow-up to monitor their growth and neurodevelopment and address any emerging issues promptly. Multidisciplinary care is essential for comprehensive care addressing the various medical, developmental, and psychosocial needs. Comorbidities associated with prematurity include respiratory issues, infection vulnerability, vision and hearing impairments, and neurological complications.

Disparities relative to ethnic and cultural groups can lead to differences in birth outcomes among different ethnic and cultural populations. Socioeconomic factors, healthcare access and utilization, maternal health, psychosocial stressors, cultural practices, and beliefs affect birth outcomes. Ethnic and cultural groups may experience disparities in socioeconomic status, healthcare access and utilization, maternal health, psychosocial stressors, and cultural practices and beliefs. Addressing these disparities requires a multifaceted approach. Efforts increase access to quality healthcare services, including prenatal care, for all ethnic and cultural groups.

This can be achieved through policies that expand health insurance coverage, improve healthcare infrastructure in underserved areas, and provide culturally competent care. Public health campaigns should raise awareness about the importance of prenatal care, healthy behaviors, and available resources. Reducing socioeconomic disparities, improving education opportunities, and providing social support systems can improve birth outcomes. The Preemie Parent Support Group provides a supportive and understanding environment for parents to connect, share experiences, and receive valuable information and resources. 

The Preemie Parent Support Group provides emotional support, valuable information, peer connections, and access to resources for families with preterm infants.

It recognizes the emotional challenges parents face of preterm infants and provides a safe space for them to express their feelings, concerns, and anxieties. It also organizes educational sessions and peer-to-peer support to empower parents with knowledge and equip them to make informed decisions. The group advocates for improved access to healthcare, better insurance coverage, and policies that support the unique needs of preterm infants and their families.


In the Gray zone-survival and morbidities of periviable birth. Shukla A, et al. J Perinatol. 2022 PMID: 35273353

Martin  JA, Hamilton  BE, Osterman  MJK. Births in the United States, 2018. NCHS Data Brief 2019; (346):1–8.

Tripathy, S. K., Chatterjee, K., & Behera, N. (2019). Mortality and morbidity of very low birth weight and extremely low birth weight babies in neonatal period. International Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics6(2), 645.

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