Causes, Signs And Complications When Premature Birth Mother Should Know

In pregnancy, a common problem is premature birth. Pregnant women should know the causes and risks that the baby faces at birth too early to prevent this situation better.
What is preterm birth?
Preterm delivery is a condition of labor three weeks before the baby's due date. In other words, preterm birth is a situation that occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy.
Premature babies, especially those born very early, often have complex medical problems. Typically, the complications of preterm birth vary. The earlier babies are born, the higher the risk of complications.
The time of preterm birth is classified as follows:
Extremely preterm birth: less than 28 weeks of pregnancy
Very premature birth: from 28 to 32 weeks of pregnancy
Preterm premature birth: between 32 and 37 weeks of pregnancy


The cause of premature birth
Usually, the specific cause of preterm birth is unclear.


Causes, Signs And Complications When Premature Birth Mother Should Know

However, there are known risk factors for preterm birth, including:
Due to a history of premature birth, miscarriage;
Twins pregnancy, triplets;
Pregnancy close to each other (less than 6 months);
Conception through in vitro fertilization;
Problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta;
Smoking cigarettes or using illegal drugs;
Infection of amniotic fluid and genitals;
Some chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes;
Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy;
Psychological problems, pregnancy stress;
Repeated abortion or abortion;
Signs of premature birth
Signs of premature birth in pregnant women
When seeing these signs, pregnant women should immediately visit medical facilities for timely assistance:
Changes in vaginal discharge (oozing, more mucous or bloody);
More vaginal discharge;
Increased pelvic or abdominal pressure;
Persistent lower back pain, dull;
Mild cramps in the abdomen;
Lower abdominal cramps like menstrual cramps, or pain associated with ongoing uterine contractions;
The rupture of the amniotic fluid (see amniotic fluid appear and flush out, sometimes just a drop of liquid);
What does a premature baby look like?
Premature babies will be very small (perhaps in the palm of their hand) and look very weak:
The skin is not fully developed, shiny, dry or flaky. Your baby may not have any fat under the skin to stay warm.
Eyes: The eyelids of a newborn may not be opened during the early stages. After 30 weeks, children can look around.
Incomplete development: your baby may not be able to adjust body temperature, breathing rate or heart rate. They may twitch, become stiff or limp, or be awake.
Hair: children have little hair on the head, but have more soft hairs on the body
The genitals may be small and underdeveloped
The table below shows the average birth weight, length and head circumference of premature babies of different gestational ages for each sex:
Weight, length and head circumference according to gestational age for boys
Gestational Weight Weight Length Circumference
40 weeks 3
6 kg 51 cm 35 cm
35 weeks 2.


Causes, Signs And Complications When Premature Birth Mother Should Know

5 kg 46 cm 32 cm
32 weeks 1.8 kg 42 cm 29.5 cm
28 weeks 1.1 kg 36.5 cm 26 cm
24 weeks 0.65 kg 31 cm 22 cm
Weight, length and head circumference according to gestational age for girls
Gestational Weight Weight Length Circumference
40 weeks 3.4 kg 51 cm 35 cm
35 weeks 2.4 kg 45 cm 31.


Causes, Signs And Complications When Premature Birth Mother Should Know

5 cm
32 weeks 1.7 kg 42 cm 29 cm
28 weeks 1.0 kg 36 cm 25 cm
24 weeks 0.60 kg 32 cm 21 cm
Complications at preterm birth
Although not all premature babies experience complications, being born too early can cause short-term and long-term health problems. Usually, the earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk of complications. Birth weight also plays an important role.
Some problems may be obvious at birth, while others may not develop until later.
Short-term complications
During the first weeks, complications of preterm birth may include:
Problems with breathing
Premature babies may have difficulty breathing due to the immature respiratory system.


Causes, Signs And Complications When Premature Birth Mother Should Know

If the baby's lungs lack surfactant - a substance that allows the lungs to expand - the child may have respiratory distress syndrome because the lungs cannot expand and contract normally.
Premature babies may also have a lung disorder called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In addition, some premature babies may experience prolonged apnea.
Heart problem
The most common heart problems that premature babies face are patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and low blood pressure (hypotension).
PDA is the condition of the duct between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. Although this heart defect often closes on its own, if left untreated, it can lead to too much blood flowing through the heart, weakening the heart muscles, causing heart failure and other complications.
Low blood pressure may require adjustments in fluids, medications and sometimes blood transfusions.
Brain problem
The earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk of brain bleeding, called brain hemorrhage.


Causes, Signs And Complications When Premature Birth Mother Should Know

Most hemorrhages are mild and resolve with little short-term effects. But some babies can experience excessive brain bleeding causing permanent brain injury.
Body temperature control problem
Premature babies can lose body heat quickly. This is due to the lack of fat from which it cannot produce enough heat to counteract the loss of the surface.

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