Babies born at 24 weeks usually face multiple health risks from the moment they come out into the world. It’s one of the most dreaded moments of a mother in labour. Studies have found that children born before the 24-week pregnancy are more likely to experience wide-ranging health problems.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Risks of babies born at 24 weeks
- You and your baby at 24 weeks
- The survival rate of premature babies
Risks of Babies Born at 24 Weeks
A recent study has found that children born before 24 weeks of gestation could experience wide-ranging health problems. They are more likely to suffer from different complications since their body is not yet fully developed. Furthermore, most children born after fewer than 24 weeks of pregnancy usually undergo a diagnosis.
“Neuropsychiatric and somatic diagnoses are prevalent as these extremely preterm infants grow into adulthood,” states a representative from the University of Gothenburg.
They based the study on the data in national registers and hospital journals. Almost every child born from 2007 to 2018 in Sweden has been part of the study. They are children born before the 24th week of gestation and survived after birth. At present, children involved in the study are now aged 2 to 13 years; they are 399 children in total.
The Risks in Children
Image Source: iStock
More than half of the 399 children born before 24 weeks of pregnancy need habilitation. 55% of the children required habilitation support. Aside from that, approximate 75% of them had neuropsychiatric impairments. Some experience some degree of development disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD, and autism.
Meanwhile, 88% suffered from other medical conditions such as asthma or postnatal growth restriction. Lastly, approximately 17% were diagnosed with Cerebral Paresis.
Children Require Major Support
The study demonstrates the critical need for additional support for the most immature children. It includes those babies born severely preterm and the importance of long-term rehabilitation.
According to Professor Ann Hellström of Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, “This is about the tiniest babies born, who wouldn’t have survived without modern neonatal care.”
“Being born extremely preterm has long-term repercussions. Awareness needs to increase for society at large to provide sufficient resources during adolescence and later in life, manage morbidity, structure follow-up programs, and support for disabilities,” she added.
Children who were born highly preterm require significant support from people around them. Their health condition was challenged ever since they were born. It is essential that society knows and is aware of what it takes to be born prematurely.
Survivors of Children Born Prematurely Increased For the Past 20 Years
The past two decades have been significant for parents giving birth to premature babies. It is because the survival rate among premature babies has risen sharply. It significantly increases in those children born in gestational weeks 22 and 23.
Fortunately, we now live in the modern world with the newest technology. Nowadays, health care can save the lives of children born more than four months too early. Enhanced survival has resulted in more knowledge of brain development among these children. Along with that, the study showed that enhanced survival also affects a child’s cognition, motor skills, hearing, and vision.
Furthermore, the study is the first to provide a comprehensive picture of various diagnoses prevalence in extremely preterm infants. They have expected a substantial impact on the children’s lives, in a single nationwide set of research data.
Meanwhile, Professor Ann Hellström points out the importance of awareness among health professionals regarding the risks.
“Doctors and other health professionals need to be aware of the many health and developmental problems that affect these children. Health care services also need resources to identify their long-term treatment and support needs at an early stage,” says Professor Hellström.
Researchers focusing on newborns (neonatology) and medical conditions relating to the eye (ophthalmology) collaborate in conducting the study. There was a national collaboration among these people in order to successfully finish the study.
You and Your Baby at 24 Weeks
Image Source: iStock
Babies at 24 Weeks
On your 24th week of gestation, the baby already has the chance of survival if they are born. However, the chance is not as high as for babies born in the full term of 40 weeks of pregnancy. Most babies born before this time cannot survive. Their lungs and other vital organs are not yet fully developed. They also have a great risk of developing a disability.
Fortunately, hospital facilities nowadays have improved. We now have NICU o Newborn Intensive Care Unit that provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies. Because of it, the chances of the babies surviving keep on increasing.
Mum at 24 Weeks of Pregnancy
Thrush is a type of yeast infection that may occur during pregnancy. It can be aggravating to have thrush while pregnant, but it will not harm your baby. At this rate, treatment can be suggested by your midwife. Remember to see your doctor or midwife if you have any pain when you pee. It could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) that needs treatment.
10 Tips for Exercising Post-Pregnancy, and Know the Risk of Exercising Too Soon After Giving Birth
COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy Does Not Increase Complications In Childbirth, Study Says
Pregnancy 101: 6 Types of Pains and Ways to Manage Them