Countries With the Most Underweight Newborns

Nutrition, prenatal care, sound knowledge, mother's age, and proper health care determine the health of a newborn.
Nutrition, prenatal care, sound knowledge, mother's age, and proper health care determine the health of a newborn.

Human beings utilize technological advancement by tapping it to improve the living standards. This practice is applicable in developing basic concepts like health. The benefits derived are many and invaluable to human life. There are numerous why most countries experience low rates of underweight births. In China, only 2% of infants born are less than 5.5 pounds (2500 gms), in Finland and Iceland only 4% of newborns are underweight. The following are reasons why there are low cases of underweight of infants born.


Sufficient supply of nutrients under normal health conditions is vital for the growth and development of the fetus. Poor nutritional habits associated with the mother may trigger unhealthy occurrences of premature births, low birth weights as well as other inborn abnormalities like tube defects. In most instances, these medical problems do not relate to any hereditary complications. Therefore, it is a requirement to ensure proper nutritional status to the mother at all times from conception and all through the pregnancy period.

Prenatal Care

One of the most significant factors that cause the low birth weight is the inability to have access to prenatal care by the mother. The care is a fully packaged program that constitutes nutritional counseling, strict control of weight gain by the mother, checking for any unusual occurrences that may risk the lives of both the mother and child. There are scientific programs aimed at inhibiting premature births and decreases the chances of low birth weights in women at all ages. Unfortunately, socioeconomic status and environmental imbalances may alter the birth outcome

Better knowledge

Most people now are aware of the unhealthy habits like tobacco smoking causes serious health problem to the mother and the unborn baby. Prenatal smoking can account for almost 20 to 30 percent of all reported cases of low birth weight; also, it also elevates the dangers of a reduced gestation period on the women and sudden deaths of the infants. Babies delivered with cases of low birth weight suffer more health related problems and are at a high risk of acquiring infections compared to other children born having attained the required weight. Second-hand smoking/ passive smoking is also as dangerous to the infant and the mother.

Age of the Mother

The age at which the mother gives birth is also a significant factor in the birth weight of the baby. At the ages of 18 to 35, the woman is in an excellent position of bearing a medically fit and healthy child. In contrast, women at the ages of below 15 and above 40 are at risk of having underweight children. In those two age groups, the woman’s womb is not able to sustain the optimum pregnancy conditions. Puberty is the first step towards the likelihood of gestation, while at menopause, there is a drastic change in the hormone levels appropriate for pregnancy.

Health Care

There is a significant relation between the health conditions of the mother to the child’s birth weight. The health conditions including pregnancy interval, history of abortion or miscarriage, maternal diseases may also cause problems in fetal growth. In the long run, the effects may be underweight of the newborn baby.


Adoption of advanced technology, improved knowledge, and better nutrition among other factors has significantly contributed to low cases of underweight birth. Other countries around the world with a low case of underweight newborn infants include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Cuba, and Denmark each reporting 5% cases of infants weighing less than 5.5 pounds.

Lowest Prevalence Of Low Birth Weight Newborns In The World

RankCountry% of Infants Weighing Less than 5.5 Pounds (2,500 Grams) at Time of Birth
4Bosnia and Herzegovina5%

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