Premature Babies: Things To Know About Them
Are You Caring for a Premature Baby? What Parents Need to Know?
Premature babies are new born babies who born before 37 weeks. According to the World Health Organisation , Every year fifteen million babies born premature . Prematurity is one of the leading cause of infant mortality. One million babies died under 5 year age group because of prematurity. According to the WHO 60% of premature baby occur in Africa and South Asia. Premature babies are more prone to the long term complications and death. Neonatal required special care and skilled healthcare professionals for their look after.
Why babies are born prematurely:
Reasons of prematurity in most of the cases are unknown. Sometimes labor pain starts without giving any indications. Even you do everything right in your gestation period but still you can have the premature baby. There are some reasons which can be a cause for premature babies are:
- Multiple pregnancy (Twins or more)
- History of premature Birth
- Mother having problem in her uterus or cervix
- Mother gets infection because of any reason
- Because of medical condition of mother such as pre-eclampsia
- Mother suffering from Diabetes or Blood pressure
Because of lifestyle of mother like smoking, drinking alcohol, consuming street drugs, stress, low socio economic status, domestic violence (includes physical , mental or sexual abuse)
Exposure to radiations, air pollution, chemical in things like paint and passive smoking.
How we can reduce the risk of prematurity
Definitely we can reduce the risk of prematurity and pre term labor but there are some factors which cannot be changes because they are related to parents specially mother medical history or genetics. There are some factors by using or adopting it we can reduce the level of risk in pre term labor and birth.
Ensure right weight before pregnancy and gain the right amount of weight during the pregnancy and that all can be happened by eating the right diet and exercise only.
- Go for the pre natal checkup as soon as you think you are conceived
- Don't smoke, drink alcohol and use street drugs or abuse prescription drugs.
- Get treatment of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, control diabetes, depression and thyroid problem.
- Protect mothers from infections. Take vaccinations that help you to prevent from certain infections.
- Reduce your stress and anxiety. Do regular workout and keep active for the day
Gap between pregnancies, wait for at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again. Use contraceptive until you are not ready to get pregnant again. Age factor also does matter. So if you are older than 35 year and had a history of miscarriage or still birth, you need to consult with your doctor or health care professionals.
What happen during premature birth?
As we have mentioned earlier premature babies need special care and treatment hence premature baby should be born at a hospital which has Neonatal Intensive care unit (NICU) or if not then they should transfer the hospitals which has NICU. During labor pain, medicines are given to stop the contractions. If necessary then this helps you to be transferred to another hospital. You can ask for Corticosteriods injections before 12 to 24 hours of baby birth, its helps your baby's lung function properly.
Premature babies can be born through spontaneous vaginal delivery.
A Neonatal unit team should be there for the birth of the baby hence in case of premature baby they can assess the neonatal health can start medical procedure as required. Once the baby health is stable they can transfer him/ her to NICU or special care nursery (SCN).
There are some common issue which happen with pre mature babies'
- Breathing problem or Respiratory distress syndrome
- Heart problem or Patent ductus arteriosus
- Problem in their digestive system
Premature babies should be monitored properly in NICU and treated accordingly. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for new born baby. It helps to boost their immune system. Mothers should be encouraged for breast feeding. Handwashig, Kangaroo mother care, Catheter care and appropriate use of antibiotics are some of the other way which prevent the neonatal from infections.
Premature baby? Understand your preemie's special needs?
Kangaroo mother care method involves infants being carried by mothers. It's a skin to skin contact. It helps to reduce the sepsis by 43%, reducing hypothermia by 77%, reducing hospital acquired infection by 58% and death by 40%. Kangaroo Mother Care improves the baby weight and warmth.
Once the baby starts breastfeeding properly and starts gaining the weight (Weight around 1.8 to 2 kg) then neonatal can be discharged from the hospital but proper follow up and consultation are required after discharge for the wellbeing of neonatal.
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