DQ 1

With the current technological evolution, there is an expressive increase of survival rate among very low birth weight newborns with birth weights less than 1500g. This later brings up the long-term neuropsychomotor development issues especially during school integration period. Compared with the normal birth weight babies, very low birth weight babies face a 2-3-fold greater risk for visual and hearing impairment, speech delays and attention disorders. They may have poor feeding and growth, respiratory complications, and face neurocognitive difficulties.

In the US, nearly 500,000 infants, or 11.7%of all live births, are born preterm (<37 weeks gestation) each year. Preterm usually have prolonged hospital stay and this eventually leads to family stress financially and in terms of time wastage.

Parents to the low birth weight babies must take more unpaid hours at work to take care of the infant. This in turn affects the family’s source of income which also reflects later in family upkeep, which keeps dwindling with time. When parents are unable to meet their financial requirements, they end up borrowing heavily to take care of the family and the more expenses that come up with the low birth weight babies who have extra needs.

Increased debt brings about unsafe home environment and social isolation. This is because parents stay away from the peers, other family members and even friends to avoid stigmatization and transfer of own burdens to other people. The involved parents end up in constant depression which affects their health eventually.

Extremely low birth weight babies usually associated with many comorbidities. Almost 40,000 infants in the United States are affected by respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Common complications associated with RDS and its therapy include air leak syndromes, chronic lung disease or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Necrotizing syndrome, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, prone to infections.

SSI Benefits for infants, disability benefits for premature babies or low birth weight called “presumptive disability”. Payments are based on the severity of the condition and the evidence available; this is not based on one’s financial need. Parents with very low birth weight babies need great financial support because of their huge financial needs and the costs involved. Grahams foundation support program helps families meet their unique needs while in Nicu and transitioning at their homes once discharged, they also have trained preemie parent mentors available 24/7 via phone and email.


Green, s. (2018) Health Assessment: Foundations for Effective Practice retrieved from

Graham’s Foundation: Supporting Parents of Preemies retrieved from

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