Birth weight is a crucial determinant of the developmental potential of the newborn. Birth weight is the body weight of a baby at its birth. The range of normal is between 2.5 and 4.5 kilograms (5.5 and 9.9 lb). On average, babies of south Asian and Chinese heritage weigh about 3.26 kilograms (7.2 lb). Abnormal newborn weights are associated with negative effects on the health and survival of the baby and the mother. World Health Organization has defined low birth weight as birth weight less than 2,500 grams. Giving birth to a low-birth-weight infant is influenced by several factors. This study aimed to identify key determinants that influence the frequency of normal and low birth weight in Salah Al-Deen general Hospital in Tikrit city-Iraq.
This study is a Cross- sectional study, was conducted in obstetric department in Salah Al-Deen general hospital during the period from 1st Feb to the 31st of August 2020. The study sample included full term babies (gestational age 37-42 week) chosen by using a convenient sampling method selecting 197 delivered babies with their mothers. Data collection done by face-to-face interview, using the structured questionnaire developed by the researcher include the following information: Information regarding the mother included demographic variables, reproductive health, medical and obstetrical history and antenatal care visits, use of ferrous sulfate and other supplements during pregnancy. Birth weight was measured at birth, to the nearest 50 g, with the nude infant lying on the available scale. Zero adjustment of the scale was frequently done to ensure accuracy of the readings. Birth weight was categorized into two as low birth weight (birth weight < 2500 grams), and normal birth weight (birth weight ≥ 2500 grams).
The current study showed that prevalence of low birth weight was (2.4%), macrosomia (15.6%) and normal birth weight was (82%). The study showed that the low birth weight was higher among primigravida (3.4%), than multigravida women (1.7%) and that the low birth weight was higher among 1st and 2nd birth order (3.4%), (6.7%) respectively while it was (0%) among the 3rd baby order. Previous history of Diabetes Mellitus was associated with 0(0%) low birth weight babies and (2.6%) of those women without Diabetes Mellitus had low birth weight babies. Those with history of iron deficiency anemia was more prone to had babies with low birth weight (3.1%), versus those without history of iron deficiency anemia (1.3%). Those with history of hypertension more prone to had babies with low birth weight (4%), versus those without history of iron deficiency anemia (2.2%). The current study showed that those with ferrous sulfate supplements had lower proportion of babies with low birth weight (1.2%), versus those without supplements (7.7%), this relation statistically significant.
This study has demonstrated that the younger maternal age, mother with diabetes mellitus, hypertension and irregular antenatal care had babies with lower birth weight. Previous history of low birth weight also is a predisposing factor for low birth weight.
Keywords: Salah Al-Deen general Hospital, reproductive health, low birth weight.