KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief: Preventing Low Birthweight

Posted July 1, 2009
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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AECF KC Preventing Low Birthweight 2009


The persistence of babies born at low birthweights (under 5 lbs 8 oz) or very low birthweights (under 1 lb, 10.5 oz) is a significant and complex public health issue. This brief outlines five recommended strategies for reducing the rate of low-birthweight babies born in the U.S.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Taking A Long-Term Approach To Women's and Men's Health May Help Reduce The Incidence of LBW

The persistence of low-birthweight (LBW) babies in the U.S.--and especially of very-low-birthweight babies--is a complex issue with many causes. Interventions that occur during pregnancy are not enough; to prevent LBW, the following strategies are recommended:

  • Increase access to medical and dental care for both women and men
  • Focus resources on smoking prevention and cessation
  • Ensure that pregnant women receive adequate nutrition
  • Address the spectrum of risk factors and support research on the causes of LBW