Pregnancy- delivering a premature baby
Why do some babies arrive much earlier than others? What are some of the possible problems faced by them? What happens in the NICU? How long will they have to stay in an incubator for?
A baby that is born before 38 weeks of gestation is pre-term. There are many reasons for premature delivery – factors as multiple pregnancy like twins, infants of diabetic mothers or infections.
The risk of complications is proportional to the degree of prematurity as most organs are undergoing maturity in the last 3 months of growth. Some of the problems may be that babies may not be able to maintain body temperature, or fto suck or swallow. They may have immature lungs and hence require respiratory support. They are more prone to jaundice and to bleeding in the brain. Premature babies are also more susceptible to infections and are prone to heart problem like persistence of a blood vessel in the heart called PDA.
Care of the premature baby is to help these babies compensate for these developmental deficiencies until the organ matures and they will stay in an incubator until they are able to maintain their own body temperature.
Dr Irene Chan
Consultant Paediatrician at the iKids Paediatric Practice
A member of Pacific Healthcare
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