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Care and Treatment of a Premature Baby

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Premature Birth

If you have given birth to a baby before due date then your baby is a premature baby who would require special care. A preterm birth calls for extra care for the growth and development of the baby and regular visit to a doctor is one of the most important and first steps in premature baby care. The doctor will check how quickly the baby is gaining weight and whether the baby is responding positively to home environment.

Since a premature baby is not fully grown, they mostly require a good amount of vitamin and iron and special formula. Doctors provide this pivotal life saving formula through drops to premature babies.

Premature infant
Source: Wikimedia

What is Premature Birth?

Babies born before the due date or before the 37th week of gestation are born prematurely. Premature babies are often at a risk of complication or low growth. For full examine of the situation and monitor its growth, premature babies are kept in neonatal intensive care unit.

Causes of Premature Birth

There is no one single cause of premature birth that doctors or science could pin point at. There are no parents who would want a premature baby in their hands. However, not many have that control over destiny. There are several reasons that lead to a preterm birth and its necessary to know them.


  1. Medical Reasons

    There are some medical reasons due to which a couple can have a premature baby. The reasons include premature rupture of membranes, expectation of twin babies, infections of the urinary tract and the vagina, previous surgery done to the cervix. Sometimes a previous abortion can be a cause of premature delivery.


  2. Lifestyle

    A mother’s lifestyle is also a factor that dictates a child’s delivery. If the lifestyle is such where enough workout and proper diet is maintained, the chances of a normal delivery are higher. But if a pregnant woman resorts to smoking or is subjected to domestic violence and constant stress, there could be complication which result to premature birth.


  3. Abnormality

    During pregnancy, if doctors feel that the baby is not growing fully in the womb or there are complications then doctors often perform caesarean section on a pregnant woman.

Complications of a Premature Birth

Some of the early complications of premature birth are low birth weight, breathing problems, respiratory problems and underdeveloped organ. It is therefore advisable to keep them under observation in hospital’s intensive care unit.

The risk factors or complications of premature birth vary from babies according to the time they were born. The symptoms are different for babies born as early as 23 to 26 weeks to younger ones.

And while early complications include hearing problems, difficulty in breathing the long term complications can be in form of permanent deformity, low production of red blood cells or vision problems.

Premature Baby Prevention and Care

A premature baby is not fully grown that it can fight the world and other germs. Sine their skin and respiratory systems take time to develop completely they are often kept under observation, fed through tubes and re often masked with oxygen. In most cases babies are not allowed to have breast milk which is rich in antibiotics and so they are given iron and vitamin drops. Keeping in mind these risk factors, special care for premature babies has become a norm.

Now that you have given birth to premature baby, investing time in his full growth is the next best thing you can do for it. A preterm birth requires specialized care that includes

Incubator

The premature babies are kept inside neonatal intensive care unit in the beginning for proper examination. The special units designed for premature bay, incubator posses an enclosed bassinet that keeps the baby warm. Due to their immature skin babies need to be kept under such observation.

Regular Monitoring

some high tech equipment like sensors and monitors can be taped to your baby’s body to monitor the blood pressure, breathing and other vital signs. Sometimes premature babies are given oxygen mask if doctors feel lack of natural oxygen in baby’s body.

Premature babies are more prone to infections and diseases and so keeping them safe in an intensive care unit is a must do rather than taking care at home. You can also have your personal caregivers who help you understand the entire process if and when doctors allow you to take you baby home with you.

Preterm birth can be fatal to a baby or leave him with permanent deformity if it happens at a very early stage and no proper care is taken. Though doctors void to take such steps, due to some lifestyle problems or medical complications a premature baby takes birth. But with due care a premature baby can live like any other normal kid.

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