Premature birth occurs in about 11 to 13 percent of pregnancies in the US.
Almost 60 percent of twins, triplets, and other multiple deliveries result in preterm births.
A birth is considered “preterm” when a child is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy have been completed. Other categories of preterm birth include late preterm (34–36 weeks), moderately preterm (32–36 weeks), and very preterm (less than 32 weeks). ~HealthyChildren.org
Premature babies will likely need to spend some time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Here is what you need to know about premature baby concerns…
Common Health Issues:
- Breathing Problems – lungs not fully developed
- Less Body Fat – incubators are used to help control body temperature
- Feeding Difficulties – if baby cannot suck, breastmilk can still be given through a tube
- Developmental Delays
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
If you have a preemie…
Remember, with today’s medical advancements, chances are, that your tiny little baby, will grow into a healthy, normal kid.
The Mayo Clinic has some more tips:
- Find out about your preemie’s condition. Uncertainty can be frightening — as can the monitors, respirators and other types of equipment in the NICU. Write down your questions and seek answers when you’re ready. Read material provided by the hospital, or do your own research. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to handle the situation.
- Share your observations and concerns. If you notice changes in your preemie’s condition, tell your baby’s medical team right away.
- Establish your milk supply. Breast milk contains proteins that help fight infection and promote growth. Although your preemie might not be able to feed from your breast or a bottle at first, breast milk can be given in other ways — or frozen for later use. Begin pumping as soon after birth as possible. Aim to pump at least six to eight times a day, round-the-clock. Also, ask your baby’s doctor about your baby’s need for supplementation — either in the form of breast milk fortifiers or preterm infant formula. ~Full List Here
Kangaroo care is a technique where the premature baby is placed in an upright position on its mother’s bare chest allowing tummy to tummy contact that positions the baby between the mother’s breasts. The baby’s head is turned so that its ear is positioned above the mother’s heart.
Many studies have shown that Kangaroo Care offers significant benefits. ~AmericanPregnancy.org
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