Academic level – Undergraduate 3-4
Type of paper – Analysis
Topic Title – The effect of extremely low birth weight babies on the family and community
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies, or those who are born weighing less than 1000 grams, exert a significant short- and long-term impact on their families and communities. The different effects of ELBW on families, the socioeconomic ramifications, and the differences in ethnic and cultural groupings will all be explored in further research. The research will also go through the assistance programs offered to preterm newborn families in New Jersey. Study aims to raise awareness of and comprehension of the difficulties faced by families of ELBW newborns and the significance of offering assistance and resources to these families by throwing light on these crucial topics.
ELBW infants frequently need immediate urgent care in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU). The result of care service is an emotional and financial burden for the families. Family relationships undergo considerable tensions, while parents could have to schedule an extended period of time off work when having a preterm infant.
Developmental delays, cognitive impairments, and long-term health issues can all be effects of ELBW newborns. These may result in a family’s needing continual medical treatment as well as financial burden.
Low socioeconomic class families are more likely to give birth to ELBW babies, which can exacerbate the severity of their medical requirements. Lower incomes hinder families to compensate for the highly needed care, special treatment course, resources, and assistance.
Disparities in Ethnic and Cultural Groups
The rates of ELBW vary significantly between various racial and ethnic groupings. Newborns of color in the US are more likely than white newborns to be born at ELBW (Ratnasiri et al., 2018, para. 1). The described variations are meant to be associated with health social determinants, as exemplified by access to healthcare, poverty, and institutional racism, directly.
Support Services in New Jersey
One support service in the New Jersey area for preterm infants and their families is the NICU Family Support Program at Hackensack University Medical Center. The aforementioned resource ensures logistical and emotional aid for NICU patients’ families, involving support groups, educational resources, and assistance with transportation and lodging. The organization offers a directory of local support organizations and resources, including in the New Jersey area.
Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation receives generous funding from March of dimes to support its NICU Family Support® Program. Hackensack Meridian Health. (2023). https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/en/news/2021/12/13/hmh-foundation-receives-generous-funding-from-march-of-dimes-to-support-nicu-family-support-program
Ratnasiri, A. W., Parry, S. S., Arief, V. N., DeLacy, I. H., Halliday, L. A., DiLibero, R. J., & Basford, K. E. (2018). Recent trends, risk factors, and disparities in low birth weight in California, 2005–2014: A retrospective study. Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40748-018-0084-2