A premature baby: care and possible complications

  • premature baby: care and possible complications
  • Typical health problems

premature infant considered preterm baby born before 37 weeks gestation.Bodies of premature infants are not fully developed.A premature baby needs special care as long as the body system will not be developed enough to sustain life without medical assistance.It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.

Causes and risk factors

At birth, the baby may be:

  • preterm (born before 37 weeks gestation);
  • full-term (born at 37-42 weeks of pregnancy);
  • post-term (born after 42 weeks of pregnancy).

Births began before 37 weeks are called premature.Often, the cause of preterm labor is unknown.When a multiple pregnancy (pregnancy with twins, triplets, etc.) prematurity occurs in about 15% of cases.

maternal health can promote the birth of a premature baby.The following conditions can cause premature birth:

  • Diabetes;
  • Heart Disease;
  • infection (eg, urinary tract infection or infection of the amniotic sac);
  • Kidney disease.

In addition, various problems associated with pregnancy increase the risk of preterm birth:

  • weakened cervix - cervical insufficiency;
  • Congenital structural defects of the uterus;
  • Premature birth in history;
  • Poor diet immediately before pregnancy or during pregnancy;
  • Pre-eclampsia - high blood pressure and protein levels in urine protein in the urine - a sign of danger, which should not be underestimated The protein in the urine - a sign of danger, which should not be underestimated after 20 weeks of pregnancy;
  • premature rupture of membranes.

Other factors that increase the risk of preterm birth:

  • mother's age (under 16 or over 35);
  • lack of proper prenatal care;
  • low socio-economic status;
  • Tobacco, cocaine or amphetamines.


weight premature infants less than in full-term babies.Common physical symptoms that occur in premature infants:

  • body hair (lanugo);
  • Abnormal breathing (usually shallow and irregular breathing);
  • other breathing problems associated with immature lungs (respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn), or pneumonia;
  • enlarged clitoris (female children);
  • muscle tone and activity is lower than that of full-term infants;
  • problems with nutrition due to difficulty sucking, or coordinate swallowing and breathing;
  • Fewer fat;
  • small scrotum and undescended testicle (for male children);
  • Soft, flexible ear cartilage;
  • Thin, smooth, shiny skin, often - transparent (you can see the veins through the skin).

These characteristics do not necessarily apply to all premature babies.


most frequently premature babies do the following tests:

  • blood gas analysis;
  • blood test to determine the level of glucose Glucose: The energy source Glucose: The energy source , calcium and bilirubin;
  • chest x-ray;
  • Continuous cardiorespiratory monitoring (monitoring of breathing and heart rate).


If preterm labor can not be stopped, the medical staff is preparing to leave with an increased risk;Sometimes a woman in travail rhinestones sent to centers that specialize in the care of premature babies.

After giving birth, is placed in a so-called incubator, which closely monitored the air temperature.Special devices monitor the breathing of the child, his heart rate and oxygen levels in the blood.

before 34 weeks children are usually unable to coordinate sucking and swallowing.Therefore, these children are fed by means of the tube, which through the nose or mouth into the stomach leads.Babies born very early, as well as sick children fed through a vein until the baby's condition is not stabilized so that his stomach could take food.


Preterm birth remains one of the most common causes of infant death, but thanks to advances in modern medicine the chances of survival are continuously increasing.Now the probability that a child born at 28 weeks' gestation survive, is at least 90%.On the other hand, there is a significant risk of developing complications such as:

  • Anemia;
  • Bleeding in the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage;
  • newborns) or damage to the white matter of the brain (periventricular leukomalacia)
  • Infection or neonatal sepsis;
  • Low blood sugar blood sugar - one of the main indicators of human health Blood sugar - one of the main indicators of human health (hypoglycemia);
  • Respiratory distress syndrome of newborn, pulmonary interstitial emphysema, pulmonary hemorrhage;
  • Neonatal jaundice;
  • necrotizing enterocolitis;
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia dysplasia - What is it? Dysplasia - what is it? ;
  • delay growth and development;
  • mental or physical disability;
  • Retinopathy of prematurity, vision loss or blindness.

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