On November 17, the world observes "Prematurity Day," one of the most important days in the year for creating awareness about the risk associated with a premature baby birth. Don't worry as you aren't the only parent to have delivered preterm. The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that approximately 15 million babies are born preterm annually worldwide
What is Prematurity?
Babies born before 37 weeks of completed pregnancy are classified as preterm neonates or said to be born early. Extreme preterms are babies born too early before 28weeks of pregnancy and face way more challenges in survival.
Concerns of a premature baby
Premature birth can be caused by a problem with the fetus, the mother, or both. Often pinpointing the cause is difficult. Some of the most common causes include: Problems with placenta, uterus, or cervix, Multiple gestations (Twins, triplets, or more), Maternal hypertension or chronic conditions, and Infections in the mother.
Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) -- a condition where baby finds difficulty in breathing due to immature lungs. Preterm babies often require oxygen support by various types of noninvasive and invasive ventilation and surfactant administration directly into the lungs. Apart from this, some also go pale or yellow due to neonatal jaundice.
DIY tips for caring premature baby and the mother
Ideally, Mother’s own milk is best nutrition. But premature babies have more nutritional requirements, so feeding a preterm baby is an amalgamation of breast feeding along with supplements and expressed breast milk with fortifiers. A preterm baby requires 8 to 10 feeds a day and in intervals not exceeding four hours. Do not forget to burp the baby after every feed.
Also, the preterm baby’s immunity is very low and has a higher risk of catching infections and diseases. It is advisable to limit the number of visitors to your home for the first few crucial weeks, especially anyone with an illness.
Enough rest to the mother
It is suggested by experts that the health of mother deteriorates in case of painful labour experienced during prematurity birth giving. Thus, medical care via Iron and Vitamin tablets are often provided to the mother post delivery. Even sleep, complimented with mild walking moments are a key to better health of the mother.