Top Docs: Profiles
Meet 11 of our 2007 Top Doctors.
Dr. Joe Toney
Pediatrix Medical Group, Medical Director of intensive care nursery at Sky Ridge, Littleton, North Suburban, Rose, Swedish—Practicing for 23 years
Colorado Statistic Colorado's incidence of low birth-weight babies is 1.5 percent higher than the national average, ranking the state at 40th.
"As a neonatologist, I see low birth-weight babies every day. But Colorado's rate is unusually high—and it has been for some time. There are probably four factors that contribute most to low birth weight. One, multiple births, which account for about one in every five births here in Colorado. Two, smoking. If we could eliminate smoking among pregnant women, we could lower the low birth-weight rate by 11.9 percent. Three, premature rupture of the membranes, which is a bit more elusive but can often be prevented with good prenatal care. And four, inadequate maternal weight gain during pregnancy. Inadequate weight gain is the largest contributor to low birth-weight rates among single-birth babies. I think women are often too focused on not gaining too much when they should be focused on gaining enough. With that said, there are plenty of reasons why babies are born with low birth weight that have nothing to do with what the mom or the physician did. Sometimes it just happens."
Reality Check "High altitude contributes to an excess of low birth weight, and this excess increases as altitude increases. At high altitude (more than 9,000 feet) there is a 50 percent excess compared to 3,000 to 5,000 feet. For every 1,000 feet of increased altitude between 3,000 and 11,000 feet, there is a decrease of one ounce in birth weight."
Best Health Advice "There isn't a magic number for how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy. Ask your doctor what would be right for you and focus on that."