Background and Objectives: Infant mortality is one of the most important measures of health and growth in communities around the world. Low birth weight is one reason why infants die soon after birth. Low birth weight is affected by many social and economic factors, such as where a person lives (urban or rural), their level of education, the order of their children's births, the mother's nutrition, her Body Mass Index, the quality of prenatal care she received, and how far apart her children were born. This study aims at evaluating the maternal risk factors and neonatal outcomes for neonates of birth weight <2 kg admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit of a tertiary care centre.
Methods: The study was a retrospective analysis of 150 babies weighing less than 2 kg, between October 2016 to October 2021. Neonatal resuscitation was done according to American Academy of Paediatrics. The maternal demographic profile, co-morbidities in the mother, factors such as gestational age at delivery, mode of delivery, birth weight were all recorded. Data were put into already-made forms, and statistical analysis was done.
Results: Out of the 150 babies who weighed less than 2kg and were studied, 48 percent were boys and 52 percent were girls. The average weight at birth was 1.63 (SD = 0.28). Based on gestational age at delivery, most (28%) were born between 28 and 32 weeks, were small for their age (n=83, 55.3%), were born normally (n=81, 54%), were born alive (n=122, 81.3%), the mother was between 26 and 30 years old (n=66, 44%), had meconium aspiration syndrome (n=10, 6.75), was taking antenatal steroids (n=106, 70.7%), had a disease during pregnancy Most of the babies had respiratory distress syndrome (n=77, 51.3%), sepsis (n=31, 20.75%), or birth asphyxia (n=23, 15.3%). In this study, a death rate of 19.3% (n=24) was seen.
Conclusion: In order to reduce the number of babies born with low birth weight, the public health strategy needs to focus on better nutrition and education for mothers.