Saturday, March 20, 2010

premature birth

Every parent-to-be naturally hopes their baby will be born healthy and full-term. Unfortunately, even in these days of hi-tech medicine, about seven per cent of babies are still born prematurely. The good news is that nine out of 10 premature babies go on to lead perfectly normal, healthy lives.

When is a baby premature?

If your baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, they are considered to be premature, or pre-term.

Do preterm babies need any special treatment?

The care needed will depend on the severity of the prematurity and the condition of each baby.
General care needed for all preterm babies :
• Temperature control
o May need nursing in incubator or under radiant warmer (as shown in picture above).

• Blood sugar monitoring
o To detect and treat high or low blood sugar levels.
• Provision of Nutrition
o Borderline preterm babies above 35 weeks who are otherwise well can usually be breastfed exclusively. More preterm babies often need supplementation with formula milk in the early days.
• Prevention of infection
o Hand washing is of prime importance before and after handling preterm babies.

Three groups of women are at greatest risk for premature birth:
• Women who have had a previous premature birth
• Women who are pregnant with twins, triplets or more
• Women with certain uterine or cervical abnormalities
Certain lifestyle factors may put a woman at greater risk for preterm labor. These include:
• Late or no prenatal care
• Smoking
• Drinking alcohol
• Using illegal drugs
• Exposure to the medication DES
• Domestic violence (including physical, sexual or emotional abuse)
• Lack of social support
• Extremely high levels of stress
• Long working hours with long periods of standing
Certain medical conditions during pregnancy also may increase the likelihood that a woman will have preterm labor. These include:
• Infections (including urinary tract, vaginal, sexually transmitted and other infections)
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
• Clotting disorders (thrombophilia)
• Being underweight before pregnancy
• Obesity
• Short time period between pregnancies [One study found that an interval of less than 18 months between birth and the beginning of the next pregnancy increased the risk of preterm labor, though the greatest risk was with intervals shorter than 6 months (9). A woman should discuss with her provider the best pregnancy spacing for her.]
• Being pregnant with a single fetus after in vitro fertilization
• Birth defects in the baby (10)
• Bleeding from the vagina
Certain demographic factors also increase the risk:
• Non-Hispanic black race
• Younger than age 17, or older than age 35
• Low socioeconomic status
Even if a woman has one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean that she will have preterm labor. However, all women should learn the signs of preterm labor and what to do if they have any of them.

Can't hold premature baby yet. Is there some other way can comfort premature baby?

Can help premature baby feel safe with a technique called containment holding. To do this, while premature baby in her cot, place one hand on her head and the other hand on her back or tummy. Just hold your hands still, with a gentle but steady touch. Containment holding can also help your baby cope if she becomes distressed during treatment or tests. This can ask the nurses to show how to do this. If unit has a physiotherapist, they can also teach about many ways to help premature baby through touch.
Premature babies need a lot of quiet and rest, and many neonatal units are trying to keep the lights and the noise levels down. Premature baby might get fretful if she's over-stimulated, so aim to increase your interactions gradually.

Bonding with your premature baby in hospital ?
If the baby is born prematurely, they’re likely to need the support of an incubator and will need to stay in hospital until they’re strong enough to go home. But even though not be able to cuddle them as expected, they can recognise your smell and voice, so simply sitting next to them and talking can start to build strong bonds. Might worry that baby looks too fragile to touch, but gentle stroking or massage is a special and comforting way to pass on love and reassurance.
Sometimes very emotional visiting their premature baby.Don’t feel up to it some days, take a little time to look after so that better prepared when ready to go back in.

My sis is a gynecology doctor.So when i remember her i choose this topic

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