Premature Baby

Many women give birth to their children before the average gestation period of nine months. It is a severe problem and it may not be easy to save these premature babies. Doctors need to keep them in incubators for weeks to help them survive. Generally, a birth occurring at least three weeks before the estimated delivery date is termed premature, and the baby needs special care.

Different types of premature baby

  • A premature baby is termed late preterm when the mother has completed 34 – 36 weeks of her pregnancy before giving birth.
  • The baby is called moderately preterm when they are born after completing 32 – 34 weeks in the mother’s womb.
  • The baby is called very preterm if he/she is s born before the mother completes 32 weeks of her pregnancy.
  • If a baby is born before 25 weeks of the pregnancy, he/she is called extremely preterm.

Various symptoms of a premature baby

A premature baby may have one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Very small size compared to normal newborns
  • Sharper facial features due to the lack of normal baby fat
  • Very low body temperature after birth
  • Respiratory problems
  • Inability to swallow milk or other liquid foods like other newborns
  • The body may be covered with fine hair

Causes of premature birth

If a pregnant woman has any of the following problems, she may give birth to a premature baby.

  • Infection in the uterus or vagina
  • Fragile cervical walls that cannot hold the weight of a baby for long
  • Having twins or more babies
  • Medical complications of the mother that impel premature birth
  • Untimely rupture of the amniotic sac containing the fetus
  • Any problem in the placenta protecting the baby
  • Severe diabetes
  • A record of earlier premature birth

When to see a doctor

If you feel a weight descending on your pelvic region, it may signify your baby is trying to push out of the womb. Cramps on your lower abdomen, blood or fluid leaking out of your vagina, and water breaking are signs when you should rush to see your doctor to prevent premature birth or miscarriage. You should also report to the doctor for swelling of your hands and feet, blurred vision, and nausea, as these may be the signs of an early delivery.

Risks involved in a premature birth

Risk factors for premature birth can be more significant due to the following reasons.

  • Young women under 18 face the risk of early delivery due to their underdeveloped reproductive organs.
  • However, women over the age of 40 may also have the risk of having a premature baby.
  • If there are multiple fetuses in the womb, the risk of premature delivery becomes higher.
  • Abnormalities in the uterus or other reproductive organs also lead to premature birth due to the inability to hold the baby for a long time.
  • Some medical ailments of the mother can also result in her premature delivery.

Possible complications arising in a premature baby

Different complications may occur in a premature baby. Some of these complications may be short-term and be cured as the child grows up. Others, however, may linger even over a lifetime and need medical aid from trained professionals.

  • Respiratory problems, low blood pressure, an opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery, low blood sugar, and mild haemorrhage in the brain are short-term complications that can be resolved with timely medical treatment.
  •  Cerebral palsy, lack of cognitive power, hearing problems, psychological issues, and some chronic ailments of the child are the long-term complications of premature birth.

Remedies for a premature birth

It would help if you underwent regular ultrasonography and other routine tests during your pregnancy period to avoid early delivery. If it is obvious that you are going to have a premature baby, you should be admitted to a hospital with all the proper arrangements to take care of a premature baby. The hospital's medical staff will take care of your baby until he/she is stable enough to survive without medical aid.


Therefore, you should be very careful during your pregnancy to avoid premature delivery. Follow all the professional recommendations and established practices and stay healthy and calm. If a pre-term birth is unavoidable, you should consult your doctor regularly to take care of your premature baby.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Amritsar - Abadi Court Road. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is the average weight of a premature baby?

A premature baby weighs 3.6 – 3.4 Kg if he/she is born after 40 weeks. His/her weight is 1.8 Kg if born after 32 weeks, and only 0.65 Kg when born after 24 weeks.

2. Can I take care of my premature baby?

If the baby is too fragile, parents can hold him/her only when the baby’s condition becomes more stable. Since breast milk is the best food for a baby, your healthcare provider or lactation consultant may help you in feeding your premature baby.

3. Will my premature baby’s growth be delayed compared to other babies?

Yes, some premature babies take a longer time to speak and communicate due to their underdeveloped organs. They may also have other physical and mental problems, which should be treated by an experienced doctor.

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