8.2.1 Classification on birth weight
In relation to birth weight, most preterm babies are low birth weight or very low birth weight, as classified below:
Low birth weight: Babies born with birth weight between 1,500-2,499 gm. These babies can usually be managed safely at home with some extra care and support.
Very low birth weight: Babies born with birth weight less than 1,500 gm. A life-threatening problem in such tiny babies is that suckling, swallowing and breathing are not well coordinated, so they require special attention in order to feed them adequately and safely. They also have great difficulty in maintaining their body temperature, so they are at increased risk of hypothermia. These babies need advanced life support and should be referred immediately to a hospital with special care facilities for very tiny babies. However, at the present time, such facility-based care may not be accessible to rural families in some parts of Ethiopia.