Premature birth- Born too soon!
Premature birth is a very serious health problem and more than a million babies die every year as a result of it. The babies who overcome it face serious health complications throughout their life. To create awareness among common people, 17th of November each year is marked as world prematurity day.
What is preterm birth?
Preterm is a word used when babies are born before completing 37 weeks of Pregnancy.
- Extremely preterm (less than 28 weeks)
- Very preterm (28 to 32 weeks)
- Moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 weeks)
Understanding the factors that pose a risk
- Late pregnancy (increased age of mother)
- Improper care during pregnancy
- Smoking, alcohol intake or use of illegal drugs by pregnant women
- Domestic violence (physical, sexual, or emotional abuse)
- Lack of social support and stress.
- Certain medical conditions
- Long working hours and long periods of standing
- Exposure to certain pollutants
- Ethnicity (Indian, African Americans and Alaska Native mothers are more likely to give birth preterm as compared to other women)
Complication is a usual term that we get to hear from doctors, especially during pregnancy. But, is preterm birth complicated? YES! It is. The baby may have to face the consequences of early delivery. Let’s have a look at few of them.
- Respiratory distress syndrome (breathing problems due to immature lungs)
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (difficulty in breathing and requiring oxygen support)
- Apnea (infants may stop breathing for 20 seconds or more)
- Gel like skin (can lead to easy injury and loss of fluids)
- Weak immunity
- Hypotension (Low blood pressure)
- Anemia (Low hemoglobin)
The Whooping Facts speak out loud!
- Worldwide, 15 million, that is one in ten babies are born preterm.
- Complications related to premature birth are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age.
- Infants born preterm are more likely to die during the neonatal period (first 28 days) and infancy (first year).
- Mortality rates increase with decreasing duration of pregnancy or birth weight
- 10 to 50 fold risk of neonatal hearing disorders.
- Retinopathy of prematurity (damage to retina of the eye) occurs in 16 to 84 percent of infants born before 28 weeks.
“Care to Pregnant Women, A Cure to Premature Birth!”