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What Causes Low Birth Weight?

What causes low birth weight?
ByAshley S. Roman, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
February 28, 2017
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A baby is considered to have low birth weight if he’s less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Being that small at birth increases a baby’s chance of having serious health problems or disabilities. Factors that can make you more likely to have a baby with low birth weight include health problems, like infection, cervical incompetence or issues with the uterus or placenta, and lifestyle choices, like smoking and drinking during pregnancy. A premature baby is more likely to have low birth weight, and one of the biggest risk factors for preterm birth is carrying multiples.

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