High number of Escambia Co babies born with low birth weight

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:54 PM CDT
High number of Escambia Co babies born with low birth weight story image
ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  There are a high number of babies being born with a low birth weight throughout Northwest Florida.

That means they weigh less than than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
Some low birthweight babies are healthy, even though they're small.
   
But being low birthweight can cause serious health problems for some babies.
   
One week after delivery, most mothers are home trying to adjust to their new lifestyle but not Cindy and Baby Logan.

Baby Logan weighs 3 pounds- 12.8 ounces and is hooked up to wires and devices with alarms.   It's their frightening reality.

Cindy Weeks -Mother
"It breaks my heart to leave him."
Cindy Weeks must care for her baby boy from the Intensive Care Nursery at Sacred Heart Hospital.

"I pretty much camp out here. I might leave to get something to eat but I stay with him."
It's been an emotional and stressful 12 days.   But today Baby Logan and mom can celebrate a major accomplishment.

"He's getting his 'NG' tube which is his feeding tube removed today. I'm thrilled this is a big hurdle that we have overcome."

At 40 years old, Cindy Weeks says she and her husband began trying to get pregnant. Nine years  and 3 in vitro fertilization treatments later they got their little blessing.

Logan was born premature and underweight. Something that can prove dangerous.
Cindy believes her older age played a role in Logans birth weight.

Dr. Bill Dobak- Maternal, Fetal Medicine Specialist- Sacred Heart Hospital
"Smoking, drug use are risk factors and the others are personal medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney issues."

Dr. Bill Dobak says prenatal visits and attention to nutrition can help but he and other doctors must do whatever it takes to help these little ones- who are clinging to life.

"How do we give everyone the best start to life so that they have fewer hurdles to cross later in life."

In the coming days Cindy Weeks believes she'll be able to take home her baby boy.  She's determined to see her son live a healthy and fulfilling life.

"Our family is big sports fans so we are into Southern Mississippi football. We want to see him excel and do well in sports."

A lifetime of challenges but Cindy says she's confident Baby Logan will grow up to be big and strong. 

For more information on low birth weight or for other Health Watch stories head over to weartv.com and click on Health Watch.
   
You'll find that under the health tab at the top of the page.
High number of Escambia Co babies born with low birth weight
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