low birth weight recurrenceInformation collected by the Pelotas Birth Cohort was used in a recent study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. The study reported prognostic factors doctors can look for in patients with prior low birth weight pregnancies. All data was collected via personal interview from patients during the postnatal hospital stay.

Researchers identified 4558 births in 2004, but only 565 qualified for the study. Fifteen percent of the births were a result of recurring low birth weight repetition. Of the mothers with two infants born prior to 2004, low birth weight recurrence was reported in nearly 50% of women. Socioeconomic status and weight gain during pregnancy were noted as contributing factors. Women who gained less than 10 kg during the pregnancy and reported higher socioeconomic status were less likely to report recurrent low birth weight deliveries. History of low birth weight birth and lacking antenatal care increased the risk of recurrent low birth weight deliveries.

Conclusion: Preventing all cases of low birth weight delivery can be prevented in some cases with proper antenatal care and healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Source: Sclowitz IK, Santos IS, Domingues MR, Matijasevich A, Barros AJ. Prognostic factors for low birthweight repetition in successive pregnancies: a cohort study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013 Jan 23;13(1):20.