Premature Birth

Premature birth refers to the birth of a baby before the 37th week of pregnancy. A typical pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks. Those last weeks inside the womb are vital for healthy weight gain and the complete development of various essential organs, such as the brain and lungs.

Premature birth may occur as a result of preterm labour. The sooner a preterm delivery occurs, the bigger the risk to your baby's health. Premature newborns need specialised care in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). The precise reason for premature labour is often unknown. Certain risk factors may raise the likelihood of preterm labour, but it may also happen in pregnant women with no recognised risk factors.

What are the most prevalent causes of preterm birth?

Premature births may occur unexpectedly and with no recognised reason. Doctors may need to start labour early for medical reasons. Premature labour may also occur as a result of the following:

  • Diabetes and infections can sometimes cause preterm birth
  • Taking drugs or alcohol
  • There is insufficient time (less than six months) between pregnancies
  • Vaginal bleeding or infections during pregnancy can also cause premature birth

Premature Birth Symptoms

Your child might show mild or obvious signs of being born prematurely. Some symptoms of prematurity are:

  • Small in size, yet with an abnormally huge head.
  • Due to the lack of fat storage, the features are sharper and less rounded than those of a full-term infant.
  • Lanugo (fine hair) covers most of the body.
  • Low body temperature, particularly in the delivery area, owing to a lack of stored fat.
  • Breathing difficulties or respiratory discomfort.

Premature Birth Risk Factors

  • Age

Pregnant women under the age of 18 and beyond the age of 30 have the highest chance of going into premature labour.

  • Pregnancies in multiples

Pregnant women carrying multiple sets (twins, triplets, or even more) are more likely to have an early birth and other difficulties.

  • Nutritional deficiencies.

Pregnant women with an exceptionally low BMI are at increased risk of premature birth. Pregnant women with a low nutritional status are also at a higher risk.

Premature Birth Prevention

Although the actual reason for premature births is often unclear, several things may be done to assist women, particularly those who are at a higher risk, in lowering the risk of preterm delivery, including:

  • Smoking, tobacco, and e-cigarettes should all be avoided.
  • Don't consume alcohol while pregnant.
  • Avoid using drugs and abusing prescription medications.
  • Consume a well-balanced diet rich in iron and folic acid.
  • Be physically active every day.
  • Lose some weight to avoid becoming obese; gain weight if you are underweight.
  • Reduce your stress levels by practising yoga and meditation.
  • Work on keeping a positive relationship with your partner.

Preterm birth risk variables may decrease if discussed with doctors at the right time. And therefore, consulting a doctor is a wise decision.

Conclusion

Those last weeks in the womb are critical for healthy weight gain and the complete development of essential organs, such as the brain and lungs. As a result, preterm newborns may have more medical issues and need a longer hospital stay.

Premature delivery was formerly the leading cause of infant mortality. Today, the quality of medical care and the survival rates of preterm babies have increased. Nonetheless, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preterm delivery remains the leading cause of infant mortality globally. It is also a major contributor to long-term nervous system abnormalities in young people. But having said that, if your child gets proper healthcare professionals' care and supervision, you can lead a healthy life.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Jubilee Hills. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Is a baby born at 7 months premature?

Premature babies are those born well before the 37th week of pregnancy. So if your baby is born at 7 months, then the birth of your baby is premature.

2. Which is the most prevalent reason for premature birth?

The majority of preterm births occur naturally. Medical causes like infections or other pregnancy issues can also cause some cases of premature birth.

3. Do preterm infants grow up to be normal?

Most preterm newborns grow normally if given proper care and medical assistance.

4. Is it uncomfortable to give birth prematurely?

Premature birth may be difficult and painful for both the mother and the child. The level of pain during premature birth may vary based on many circumstances, including the baby's gestational age, the mother's health, and the usage of pain control medication.

5. Can stress cause preterm labour?

It is not certain, but stress during pregnancy might raise the odds of having a premature or low-birthweight baby.

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