Sunday, August 16, 2015

Low Birthweight Babies

Image from HERE
Belladonna wants to be an Ob-Gyn doctor.  Getting into medical school is very competitive.  One of the factors that can tip a student into med school involves volunteering.  Admissions officials look at the duration of the volunteering, the number of hours and how the activities align with the medical profession.

Due to privacy issues, there are very few volunteering opportunities involving babies.

However, there are many volunteering opportunities involving expectant mothers.

Low Birthweight babies

One possibility is for Belladonna to help mothers who are at high risk for low birthweight babies.  This cause has resonance for Bella because she knows some kids who were low birthweight baby (i.e., 3lb) and she has seen their struggles.  Low birthweight babies are a cause that has a personal, gut-level meaning for Bella.

Her current plan is to make the transition to college and establish contacts.  Then, starting her sophomore year to throw herself into volunteering.  (Note:  The plan is for Bella to NOT have a car her freshmen year so she can concentrate on her studies).

What can one person do?

According to March-of-Dimes about one baby in every twelve is a low birthweight baby.  Further, certain populations are at higher risk than others.

Premature birth and fetal growth restriction may be caused by conditions that affect your baby in the womb. These include: 
  • Birth defects. These are health conditions that a baby has at birth. Birth defects change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. They can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops, or in how the body works. They may limit a baby’s development in the womb, which may lead to low birthweight. Babies with birth defects are more likely than babies without birth defects to be born prematurely.

Also according to March-of-Dimes expectant mothers can take the following steps to reduce the risk of having a low birthweight baby

Enclosed kitty litter boxes reduce the likelihood of contaminated litter intruding into the common living space.

Bella can give rides to expectant mothers so they won't miss their doctor's appointments.  She can be an exercise buddy for one or more expectant mothers.  She can pass out hand sanitizer,  secure kitty-litter boxes and kitty-litter box liners.  This is all very labor intensive.  She will not be able to help hundreds of mothers.  But she can certainly make a difference for several of them.

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