premature babies alive at birth
In the medical sciences, the duration for which a baby (as a fetus) resides in the mother’s womb is termed, Gestation period. This period varies from species to species and for humans, the gestation period is about 36 weeks. This is a very important duration for the babies as their bodies are passing through different developmental stages. Any complication during the gestation period leads to complications for both mother and baby. In the wake of such complications, doctors decide to deliver the baby before the completion of the gestation period. Such babies which delivered before the due time are then termed, premature babies.
According to WHO, premature babies are those born before completing 37 weeks of gestation period in mother’s belly. According to a careful estimation of WHO, every 1 in 10 infants born worldwide is preterm. When we look towards the stats allocator, UK has a significantly higher birth rate of premature babies compared to other countries of Europe. The National Health Service (NHS), UK reported the birth of 60,000 premature babies, which constitutes around 8% of annually premature babies alive in the UK.
premature babies alive when delivered how amazing
premature babies alive after being born is amazing these days especially as more are surviving after being born at 23 weeks gestation. a few years ago the cut off age for helping babies and giving them the chance to live was at the 24 weeks pregnant threshold. In fact birth weight has an impact on a baby’s survival rate.
neonatal nurses act quickly for premature infants to stabilize the airway and breathing first. For a baby born too soon at 23 weeks a ventilator will take over the breathing fully to take the pressure of baby’s lungs collapsing. It give them the chance to grow too in a warm environment called an incubator. Babies lungs at this age aren’t ready to work in the outside world and sadly would die without this assistance. Sometimes a mum is given an injection called steroids to help mature babies’ lungs before delivery.
premature babies alive at birth what happens next
premature babies alive after delivery is due the the fast action of all the NICU team. Enabling all together working together in the delivery suite. The Nicu team is a collaboration of nurses, a neonatal specialist assisting immediately after delivery. They work in assessing baby‘s care needs, keeping baby warm ,and if necessary wrapping baby in bubble wrap to ensure baby is warm enough. How awesome is it that a cry is the first thing to hear that shows these premature babies alive can get help .
how do hospitals keep premature babies alive born at 23 weeks
in the future premature babies alive may be due to some very high tech inventions such as an artificial womb. a real live premature lamb was in the news last year. In fact it was kept alive in a bag like womb. it was further cared for and kept alive with fluid surrounding its body. its umbilical cord also assisted in the care it was given.
In the terms of hospitals at present preterm babies born as young as 23weeks pregnant are kept in incubators and all the care needs are met here for many weeks. nurses keep monitoring vital statistics altering oxygen levels if needed given blood in emergencies and trying to prevent brain bleeds. When premature babies alive at birth are cared for as young as this the road is a rough one as they overcome each hurdle in the NICU.
Back in the 1970’s premature babies alive were fed on carnation milk. now manufacturers try to make formula milk closer to breast milk. Breast milk is another reason babies do well due to its rich source of antibodies to help fight against infections.
Unfortunately, medical sciences are not yet able to understand the actual reasons for the preterm birth of babies in pregnant women. Different comparative studies point out different reasons and complications which can be the reason for premature birth. In the following, I am going to enlist some of the common reasons for a premature birth.
premature babies alive cut off point
premature babies alive could well happen at 16 weeks gestation as one mum recently told newspapers. She was devastated to realise the hospital would not intervene to keep her baby alive. but when is enough enough and let nature take its course to let these babies be left to die. At this moment in time is there a needle small enough to go in a fragile arm. or a tube small enough to go in the throat to help with breathing.
Its issues such as this that doctors have to say sadly there is nothing we can do. Surely these babies should be offered comfort care. Where oxygen is put near their face with a mask. wrapped in a warm blanket for parents to cuddle them in their final moments. Lets hope all babies born too soon to survive get this type of love in their final hours on this earth.
premature babies alive after premature rupture of the membranes
- Pre-eclampsia (High blood pressure in the mother) is the major reason for birth babies born prematurely. Around 15% of preterm babies are born due to this reason.
- Vaginal, uterus, placental (amniotic membrane infection) or cervical infections also compel health professionals for preterm birth.
- Earlier cervical expansion or abnormality of the uterus also leads to preterm caesarian birth.
- Higher chances of premature birth in mothers expecting twin or triplet babies.
- Poor nutrition, heart, kidney diseases and diabetes are also major factors for premature birth.
- Females with age 40 or above also have higher chances to conceive a baby via premature birth.
- Females with bad social habits like drinking, smoking, use of illegal drugs etc are more prone to premature birth.
- 25% of the preterm babies are delivered through the planned procedure if a life-threatening situation arises.
WHO Classification of Premature Babies
WHO professionals classify preterm babies based on how early they are born before the completion of the gestation period. WHO do so to provide adequate health care services for premature babies according to their need. The 24th week of gestation period is considered the milestone in the pregnancy.
All baby organs development, mental and physical health and chances of survival depend on this milestone. Babies who are delivered before the 24th week are often born dead. They are deprived of nutrition, support and protection which are only provided by the mother’s womb. The classes of premature babies are described in following:
The first class of WHO classification is “Extremely Preterm” which includes babies who are born in-between from 24 weeks to 28 weeks. Such babies are so skinny and weigh only one pound at the time of their birth. They are only 8 inches in height that’s why also pronounced Micro-preemies by heath care professionals. The skin of these babies is very thin and delicate as brown fat is not developed yet. To protect from the external environment, these babies have brown hairs on their whole body which is called Lanugo.
At the time of birth, they have a fully developed yet too sensitive hearing and vision system. That’s why the eyelashes of such babies remain closed for a long period after their birth. This time is very crucial as the baby’s body are passing through different developmental stages. To keep them protected and provide them extra light, these babies are kept in the incubator. Lungs and breathing airways are not fully developed during the 24-28 weeks of gestation period. That’s why these babies are kept on a breathing support system for a longer period.
The babies who are born prematurely in between from 28 weeks to 32 weeks are out under this class. The mortality rate in these babies drops significantly as these babies are far from the danger zone. In the UK, 11% of premature babies are born after 28 weeks of gestation period. Yet, the morbidity rate in such babies is very high as the body systems of babies are weak and under-developed.
The prime goal of health care professionals at this stage is to prevent the abnormal development of the brain and brain functions. Hypothermia is also a major issue as these babies are can’t able to keep their bodies warm via the shivering mechanism. As the brain is underdeveloped, the thermoset of these babies also fails to maintain the body temperature.
The eyes of the babies are fully developed and the baby can make images of things and people in their mind. Babies born at 28 weeks have a high chance of retina damage (ROP) as compared to babies born at 31 or 32 weeks of gestation. Lanugo is removed from their skin as brown fat start to develop below their skin. Despite all these developments, these babies are not ready yet for breastfeeding. That’s why nutrition is provided to these babies via other methods. Overall, this phase is all about healthy development and 95% of babies survive this phase.
Moderate and Late Preterm
The babies who are born prematurely in between 32 to 34 weeks of gestation period are termed Moderate Preterm. While babies who are born prematurely in between 34 to 37 weeks are called Late Preterm. Moderate preterm and Late preterm babies are considered near to healthy as they are weighing between 4-6 pounds with length measuring around 20-22 inches. The organs of these babies are well developed; joints are formed and bones are fully developed. Fingerprints appear, and digit ends of fingers have nails that are not present in very preterm babies.
Hearing and visual senses are in good shape along with other senses. The sucking and feeding mechanism of these babies are not well-coordinated with breathing patterns yet. However, other health indicators of these babies are in better condition as compared to babies born extreme or very premature.
Yet, two major complications are commonly faced by these babies. The immune system of these babies is compromised because they were born a few weeks earlier than the normal gestation period. The last few weeks are very important and many antibodies are provided to babies from the mother immune system via blood.
The second complication which these babies have to face is different respiratory problems. Lungs are the only part of babies which are matured in the last weeks of gestation period. The lungs of babies are filled with a glycoprotein surfactant material which is helpful in lungs maturation.
Babies born prematurely have their lungs filled with this material, that’s why face difficulty in breathing. As these babies are in good shape, these babies are kept in Neonate intensive care unit (NICU) for only a few days.
Long-term Problems Faced by Premature Babies
Babies born prematurely have to face different short-term and long-term problems in their birth. The short-term complications start to arise immediately after birth and include compromised immune system, poorly developed respiratory system, metabolic problems include hypoglycemia etc.
But most of the time, extreme or very preterm babies have to face long-term complications in their childhood and adulthood. Some of these common long-term complications are enlisted in the following:
- Cerebral Palsy is the most common complication that arises due to poor brains development or brain damage due to inadequate supply of blood.
- Babies born prematurely often show poor learning capabilities as compared to other babies, for example, some preterm babies learn to talk at the age of 4,5.
- Impaired vision i.e. RTO is the most common complication observed in extreme preterm babies.
- Impaired hearing capability is also observed in preterm babies.
- Babies born premature show delayed developmental stages and most of them face behavioural and Psychological issues in their later life.
- Premature babies are also reported to be more prone to become the victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
How to prevent a Premature Birth
As the exact causes of premature birth are not known yet, doctors can’t able to suggest strategies or therapies prevent premature birth. The common things which are prescribed by health care professionals to pregnant mothers are enlisted in the following:
A balanced diet consists of fruits, vegetables, proteins during pregnancy to reduce the chances of preterm birth. It is also advisable to take supplements like Folic acid and Calcium that can meet the additional need of babies during pregnancy. Along with the supplements, it is advisable to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, which reduces the chances of kidney problems.
Pregnant women should ask their doctors for exercises that are helpful in the normal delivery of the baby. Exercise during pregnancy loses the muscles and is helpful in the expansion of hipbones and cervix which reduces the chances of preterm birth.
A mother with pre-eclampsia should remain in contact with her doctor. The doctor may describe anti-hypertensives according to your blood pressure history. The use of Aspirin is also recommended by some doctors to pregnant women during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should have to quit drinking and smoking habits during pregnancy as the mental health of the baby is at risk. Similarly, unnecessary use of illegal or prescription drugs can lead to preterm birth and miscarriage.
Getting parenteral help from parenteral health care centres can also reduce the chances of premature birth, especially in first time pregnant females.
Other than the above-discussed methods, follow the advice and recommended ways from your doctor. If you are experiencing some signs of preterm birth, immediately consult with your doctor. The doctor might suggest some additional measures and therapies lower the risk of premature birth.
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