Preterm Delivery – Things To Know
Pre-term or premature babies born earlier than full term babies. Preterm birth occurs when the pregnancy is less than 37 weeks old. Full-term babies are born between 37-42 weeks from the mother's last menstrual period.
Babies born before 32 weeks are called "extremely premature".
Usually, the cause of preterm birth is unclear and not under the control of the mother. However, sometimes premature birth occurs due to the health and lifestyle of the mother during pregnancy. Such as a mother with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease, an infection (especially infection related to the amniotic fluid, genitals and urinary tract), malnutrition during pregnancy, or Bleeding due to abnormal position of the placenta.
In addition, premature birth may occur due to abnormal structure or excessive expansion of the uterus when carrying more than one fetus (twins, triplets or more) or use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs
Preterm birth occurs more often in women younger than 19 or over 40, or who have a history of preterm birth.
However, any woman is likely to have a premature birth with an unknown cause.
Premature babies have special needs. So taking care of premature babies is also different from full term babies. That is why premature babies are often referred to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). NICU is designed to provide children with a low stress environment and meet their basic needs such as warmth, nutrition and protection to ensure proper growth and development.
Due to recent advances, more than 90% of premature babies weighing 800 grams or more can live a normal life
The basic needs of premature babies
Premature babies often lack the amount of fat needed to maintain body temperature, even when warmed in blankets. Therefore heaters are used to keep children warm in NICU. Maintaining a child's body temperature within the normal range helps the child grow faster.
The incubators made of transparent plastic covering the child not only help keep warm but also limit infections and limit dehydration. Warm-keeping vehicles are electrically warm beds without a cage. These cars are used when health care workers need regular access to child care. There is a small thermometer that touches the newborn's skin to measure body temperature and adjust the temperature
Nutrition and development
Premature babies have special nutritional needs. Because babies grow at a faster rate than full term babies and the digestive system of premature babies is immature.
Pediatricians monitor the weight of premature babies in grams. Term infants weigh more than 2,500 grams, while premature babies weigh between 500 and 2,500 grams.
What do premature babies eat? Breast milk is an excellent source of nutrition. But premature babies are too young to feed directly from breast milk or bottles until they are 32 to 34 weeks of age. Most premature babies must be fed slowly to avoid the risk of intestinal necrosis (NEC), a leading gastrointestinal infection. Breast milk and food for premature babies can be pumped through a tube from the baby's nose or mouth into the stomach.
Breast milk has an advantage over powdered milk because it contains many proteins that help fight infections and promote growth. Special nutrients can be added to breast milk (or formula if breast milk is not available).
Because premature babies have higher vitamin and mineral requirements than full term infants.
Almost all premature babies are supplemented with calcium and phosphorus by adding it directly into breast milk or with special formulas for premature babies. Nutrition and minerals in the child's blood, such as blood sugar, salt, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, are monitored regularly and the child's diet is adjusted to keep levels of these substances. in the normal range.
General health problems of premature babies
Premature babies are susceptible to a number of problems, mainly because their internal organs are not fully ready to function on their own. In general, the earlier the baby is born, the higher the risk of complications.
One of the most common treatable conditions in the newborn is hyperbilirubinemia, which occurs in 80% of premature babies. Bilirubin is a naturally occurring compound formed during hemolysis.
High levels of bilirubin can cause jaundice and yellow eyes.
Although mild jaundice is quite common in term infants (about 60%), it is more common in premature babies. Excessive concentration of bilirubin can cause brain damage. So premature babies are monitored and treated for jaundice early, before bilirubin reaches a dangerous level. Jaundice babies are placed under a special blue light to help the body eliminate bilirubin. A blood transfusion may be used to treat severe but uncommon jaundice.
Respiratory arrest is a common health problem in premature babies. During a brief apnea, the child stops breathing, the heart rate may decrease, and the skin may turn white.
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