Low birth weight

Specifics of hospital care for the low birth weight infant are determined by the reason for low birth weight, such as premature delivery or other health factors. If the infant is born premature, hospital care may start in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU. While in NICU, low birth weight infants are often kept in warming units to help regulate body temperature. Having less body weight means having less body fat and body fat is required to help regulate and maintain a healthy body temperature. 

There may also be wires connected to several places on the infant’s body. Don’t worry; these are typically wires leading to machines used to monitor things like blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. If there are other health problems associated with premature delivery, additional care may be required for several days to several months. After a low birth weight infant has been medically cleared, they will leave the NICU and go home with mom and dad.