A premature baby is a baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy that is more than 3 weeks before the due date.
Also known as preterm or a preemie.
Classification of preterm babies include;
Late preterm – Baby born between 34 weeks and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Moderately Preterm – Born between 32 weeks and 34 weeks of pregnancy.
Very Preterm – 28 weeks and 32 weeks of pregnancy.
Extremely Preterm – born before 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Prematurity is one of the leading causes of infant deaths.
About 50% preemies may survive, while 50% might not. The longer the baby stays in the womb, the higher the survival rates, and the lesser the complications that may arise. Check out play lightning link pokies online. Babies born after 32 weeks have a higher survival rate.
The smaller the birth weight the higher the risks of complications developed. Babies born in NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) have higher survival rate and better results.
Moms at risk are normally referred to Hospitals with NICUs.
Most preemies are able to outgrow these complications and catch up with full term babies’ developmental milestones.
Unfortunately, some do have long term or permanent medical, developmental and behavioral problems. These might include intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, autism etc.
Symptoms/Complications of a Premature Baby
- Low birth weight thus not able to regulate body temperature because of less body fat.
- Very small in body size with a disproportionately large head.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
- Anemia – Lack of enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body.
- Body hair (lanugo) covering most part of the body
- Neonatal respiratory distress. There could be extra air in the lungs’ tissues (pulmonary interstitial emphysema) or bleeding in the lungs (pulmonary hemorrhage).
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) – Common in babies born before 34weeks because a protein called surfactant has not been formed in them to keep the small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing hence the breathing difficulties. This can be given artificially after birth.
- Abnormal breathing patterns (apnea)
- Newborn jaundice – baby’s eyes and skin look yellow. Occurs when the liver is not fully developed or not functioning well.
- Bleeding in the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage) or damage to the brain’s white matter