Following the increasing numbers of premature births, the 17th of November has been officially declared Prematurity Day all over the world. Wear purple for prematurity in order to commemorate all the infants that died due to premature birth.
This day was deemed as being very important in terms of raising awareness around the world about premature birth. According to a statistic, it would seem that 15 million children are born every. Sadly, approximately 1 million will not survive due to the fact that they were born too soon.
Let’s take a quick look at the main factors that contribute to preterm birth. We consider a baby to have been born prematurely, when he is delivered at less than the required 37 week gestational period. Premature birth could be signaled by early and very frequent uterine contractions. The contraction occur every 10 minutes and are accompanied by fluids leaking from the vaginal area.
Those who had the misfortune of being born before their term are more susceptible of developing life-threatening diseases such as cerebral palsy. Infants born before their term can develop hearing issues and eyesight problems.
Unfortunately, in most cases, the actual cause that led to a preterm birth remains unknown. Scientists believe that there are a couple of risk factors that can lead to premature birth. Among the risk factors are high blood pressure, multiple pregnancies, alcohol consumption, stress and tobacco smoking. Also, it would seem that another set of factors are being reconsidered, such as vaginal infection, obesity or anorexia. Consuming recreation drugs during pregnancy is usually not a very good idea.
Now, let’s take a look at the prematurity timetable. Your child is considered to be late preterm, if he was born between the 34th and the 36th weeks. Moving a little further down the time axis, the next pregnancy period is called moderately preterm, and it refers to infants who have been born between the 32nd and the 34th weeks. The last cases of preterm labor are called very preterm and extremely preterm. If your child is born before the 32nd week of labor then he is considered to be very preterm. Again, if your baby girl or boy is born before the 25th week, then he or she is considered to be extremely preterm.
So, what can you do if your baby is delivered before the actual term? The doctors do have a large array of therapies that can increase the baby’s chances of survival. When the baby is preterm, the doctors usually recommend placing him in an incubator, which will closely observe the infant’s life signs. Occasionally, the baby will be fitted with feeding tubes and his fluids would have to be replenished from time to time. Other therapies like bilirubin lights or blood transfusions have shown good results.