A training programme for health professionals who care for mothers at risk of having low birth weight babies has been launched with funding from Walsall Teaching Primary Care Trust.
The programme has been assigned £18,000 to train 300 health professionals in the area.
Low birth weight is defined by the World Health Organisation as less than 2,500g and is seen in 7% of live births. However, Walsall’s proportion of low birth weight babies is much higher, at 11.6%.
The major causes of low birth weight are smoking, poor nutrition in pregnancy and is more common in women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Training will start this month and aims to build the capacity and confidence of health professionals to positively intervene when working with a diverse group of mothers, to reduce their risk of low birth weight babies.
Hilary Lumsden, senior lecturer in neonatal care at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for all people that can make a contribution to reducing the risks of mothers having low birth weight babies to share learning, and develop strategies for working together to improve pregnancy outcomes by effectively using the existing resources in the community.”