Health Preterm Infants: What to Expect?

Health Preterm Infants: What to Expect?

| |  Perinatal Medicine & Neonatal Medicine

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The preterm babies - babies, born as a result of premature births weighing less than 2500 grams and measuring less than 45 cm.

These criteria are conditional, as many full-term babies born weighing less than 2500 grams, and some preterm have a mass greater 2500. The main feature of preterm infants is the immaturity major body systems - respiratory, cardiovascular and thermoregulatory. Premature babies require special care and medical supervision.

Causes of premature birth 

All etiological factors can be divided into the following groups:

Social, economic and demographic factors: the existence of occupational hazards and the nature of work of parents; bad habits (the effect of alcohol, nicotine and drugs); the living conditions of the family (income level and place of residence, quality of food); quality of care; the presence of mental and physical injuries;

Biological factors: parental age (under 18 or over 35); small stature, previous abortions and birth, number of previous pregnancies and their outcomes, the presence of the interval between pregnancies and childbirth, etc .;

Clinical reasons:

  • presence in the mother of abnormalities genital organs (infantilism);
  • acute infectious processes of the woman;
  • preceding an abortion that causes trauma of the uterus (leads to disruption of the structure of the endometrium, cervical insufficiency);
  • presence in the mother a somatic pathology (heart disease, pyelonephritis, anemia, hypertension (leading to hypoxia, disruption of placental blood flow and changes in the structure of the placenta);
  • existing infections which are sexually transmitted; presence of complications of the pregnancy (gestoz);
  • the occurrence of blood incompatibility of mother and fetus (Rh and group); chromosomal disorders of the child;
  • endocrine pathology in the mother (violation of ovarian function, diabetes, etc.).


What is the difference the Premature babies from a Full-term babies? 

Nine months of pregnancy in a woman nature invented not for nothing. Exactly for this period of time the baby have time to form and grow so that by the time of childbirth to be ready for the challenges of life.  herefore, if the child is born before the designated time, him will be much harder to adapt.

For example, if the baby was born at 36 weeks, he in principle already formed. And if the 28 weeks, in order that he got his weight, it is need a lot more effort.

 Features of Physique Premature babies

Premature babies often have a disproportionately figure. That is, they have a fairly short lower limbs and neck, but on the contrary a larger head relative to the body. The head of the kid is covered with vellus hair and the skin very thin and delicate, and Ears very soft.

But the main feature of a premature baby has a functional immaturity of all organs and systems. The children who were born prematurely - a sleepy and sluggish, with reduced muscle tone.

Development of Premature babies?

This kid requires special attention and supervision on the part of doctors. The first thing to do when born this baby - to give first aid, that is warm, remove from the mouth of the amniotic fluid, take care of providing additional oxygen to the baby.

If a case is heavy - needed resuscitative measures. First of all, the doctors should pay attention to the baby's breathing. Because in the lungs of a premature baby a little special substance - surfactant. And it provides the normal gas exchange.

Sometimes to the child may be required artificial ventilation. Comfortable thermal mode, which is required for the premature baby, will create a special incubator.

Restoring the initial body weight occurs over a longer period: full-term infants are usually recover birth weight by 7-10 days of life, and in premature babies, this period may last for 2-3 weeks.

Physiological Jaundice 

Another condition that occurs in newborns, it is physiological jaundice. But in premature infants jaundice is more severe, and the duration of its more than full-term babies, that in some cases require treatment. It is connected with features and the immaturity of liver enzymes.


Feeding a premature baby can also cause some problems, as children who were born prematurely, poorly internalize food. To feed low birth weight infants are beginning to drop by drop, gradually increasing the volume. The optimal for premature babies is the mother breastfeeds. As is known, the composition of the milk of women who gave birth a prematurely, differs from the milk mothers, childbirth of which occurred in a term. It contains more protein, electrolytes, polyunsaturated fatty acids and less lactose, providing better needs of a small baby.

In the event if a breast feeding is not possible, the child should receive a specialized mix for premature babies.

When a Premature Baby are Discharged home?

This question disturbs many parents whose babies were born prematurely. Of course, such decisions are accepted by doctors, based on the child's condition. Usually, if the weight of the child has reached 2000 grams, the baby is actively sucking and gaining weight, it can be discharged with the active surveillance at home by a pediatrician and nurse.

In addition, after discharge from the hospital the baby may need extra help ophthalmologist, a neurologist, a massage therapist and other specialists. Finally, must be added, the baby, which born prematurely, needs not only an experienced and competent doctors and nurses, but also in a love and care of mothers and fathers.

Nursing a premature baby - is a long and laborious process. But a premature baby has all the chances to catch up with the time of their peers, and not further differ from them in mental and motor development.


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