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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Related Articles for Pregnancy > Premature Babies

Premature Babies

What is a premature baby?

Premature babies are defined as those born between twenty four and thirty seven weeks of gestation. The chances of survival for a baby born before twenty four weeks of pregnancy are rather slim. Premature babies are even more vulnerable than full-term babies and need to be treated with special care. These tiny, frail creatures are often born with problems, as many of their faculties are not fully developed.

What are the problems associated with premature babies?

The common problems associated with premature babies are:

  • Respiratory distress syndrome. Premature babies have difficulty in gas exchange as a result of protein and fluid collection within the small air sacs and the collapse of the sacs themselves.
  • Difficulty in feeding because of weakness.
  • Greater likelihood of contracting jaundice and increased vulnerability to its effects.
  • More susceptible to infection.
  • Congenital defects, including those that affect the heart.
  • Danger of bleeding in the brain leading to the development of hydrocephalus (dilatation of the fluid-filled cavities or ventricles in the brain).

These babies are so fragile that doctors must tread gingerly when it comes to taking care of them. Sometimes the solution can lead to a further problem. There have been cases of a baby's lung been blown out or scarred as a result of over-inflation of the lung by a respirator. Oxygen therapy has been known to cause blindness or impaired vision in these premature babies.

The smaller and less mature the premature baby is at birth, the greater will be its problems in the long run. These babies can develop cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disorders, and vision, speech and hearing problems.

Premature babies require special care

Premature babies are put straight into intensive care. They are usually kept in incubators. They require round-the-clock nursing. They are fed intravenously and sometimes put on the respirator to help them breathe if necessary. Their vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and pulse are closely monitored. Premature babies are kept in intensive care till the doctors are of the opinion that they are out of danger. Even after they have been discharged from the hospital, these babies will require periodic evaluations from paediatricians, neonatologists, ophthalmologists and psychologists to nip any problems that crop up in the bud.

A life and death decision

If premature labour could not be arrested, the next best thing the doctors can do is to make sure that these frail babies survive and have a normal life as far as possible. The advances in neonatal care have increased the chances of survival of premature babies. The catch is that the babies that survive are often severely handicapped. Faced with a tiny, sick, premature baby, doctors are in a quandary whether to do their utmost to ensure the baby's survival or let nature take its course. While the baby may survive there is no guaranteeing the quality of her life. She may be physically or mentally handicapped. At the same time, it is very difficult for both parents and doctors to take a decision to let the baby die.

The doctors can help the parents make an informed decision about their baby's life. The pros and cons of her survival should be discussed threadbare because whichever way the decision goes there is no turning back. Parents should also keep in mind that deciding to save the baby could be a cruel decision if the baby is going to be severely handicapped. In addition, they should consider how caring for a handicapped child could exact a terrible toll on their lives. They will also need to think about who will look after the child if they are not around any longer.

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Recent comments (32 comments)
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Name: Mrs Linda Thomas
Country: U.S.A.

going to school to be a doctor
Name: madison
Country: Guam

is there any dises i need to look out for and what is is thed travel exspences and what animals will i see there and is there any bad parts in town?????
Name: Mindy
Country: U.S.A.

i was happy with this article, as i have a preemie son, up to a point and then in the last paragraph i was flabbergasted by what had been wrote. a child, handicapped or not, is a gift form god and should be treated as one. whether a child is handicapped should not mean that the parents will have a terrible life from then on and they should not take it that way. i am appalled that someone,who i am hoping is not a mother, could write such a thing.
Name: Mrs sanjeev
Country: India

i have been married in 2006 and delivered to a baby boy whose was a preterm child ,28 weekks and at the time of delivery was jst 900grms.he was done retino plasty in amrita hos,kerala..later fllow the present problem regarding my child is he doesnt walk like other kids,hez trying to walk on hs own.hez un drgoing physiotherapy for tht.i cant watch my son suffer..but thnks to god..he doent hav any big problems ..let god make hm walk soon..
Name: Tyrus
Country: Seychelles

give please. level with your child by being honest. nobody spots a phony quicker than a child. help me! i find sites on the topic: dodge dealers connecticut. i found only this - champion dodge dealer. ford dealers ankeny dodge dealers ankeny jeep dealers ankeny ford dealers iowa dodge dealers iowa jeep dealers iowa ford i twurled news beta. our davie, fl dodge dealership always has a wide selection and low prices. waiting for a reply :confused:, tyrus from denmark.
Name: Janaki Parajuli
Country: Nepal

ya i m bsc nsg student and i like this article and understood also , but the thing is ,are all the handicapped prematurely born or what?plz make me clear
Name: honey
Country: India

this info was good to read,but i wanted more info,my daughter(adopted) is 15 months old,and has problem in her left eye(squint) we consulted an opthamologist,he says she will be fine,i have my doubts(call it a mothers instinct over cautiousness)can someone help/suggest????
Name: Mrs Asha .M
Country: Switzerland

so far i have liked most articles given on this site but i thoroughly disagree with this article.infact i am offended and upset,for instead of reassuring a young mother like me who has just delivered a pre-mature baby your article only creates more stress and anxiety,you have actually managed to paint a very pessimistic picture, where actually in european countries more than 90% of pre-mature babies survive and are strong and healthy in the long run without any side effects whatsover.of course my son has a long way to go but he is very healthy(due to god's grace and the advance in medical science available in swiss)and i would have liked to read an article on the after care rather than your article which only creates fear in a new mother and talks of problems and not solutions.pls make sure in future you are aware about the advances made in pre-mature baby care before you post such articles and scare unsuspecting people.
Name: Mrs.Raadhika Bala
Country: India

i am really upset after reading your article on premature baby because the article is really pessimistic and brings fear into the mind of a young mother like me who has delivered a premature baby recently about 40 days ago. even though the doctor has told he is fine and we have brought him home your article has created a sense of fear in my mind what problem may arise for my baby in future. try to give some optimistic hopes for the mothers.
Name: wafaa mohammed
Country: Egypt

premature baby is a sudden happiness ,,,we could not let it go away without fighting for his life we could not take the decision of let him die ,,,but we we can wait and ask for god help .. he gave it to us and fe is only one could take him ,,,
Name: Hayley Dymond
Country: United Kingdom

i gave birth to my little boy in march at twenty four weeks on the day. he weighed onepoundand four ounces....after a long four months in hospital he is now six months old and nearly ten pounds. everybody has their own opinions andeach set of circumstances is individual but if i believed everthing i have read on this subject i wouldnt have my beautifal perfect bundle now!
Name: mom of preemie
Country: India

i feel disgusted with this artcile. all preemies need not be mentally or physically fact, insteda of reassuring mothers that, with proper care , their babies can turn out to be as good as other babies,it helps in creating stress and anxiety. in fact my cousin was a premature baby born at 28 she has completed her engineering with good marks and has offers from 2-3 companies.
Name: Priscilla Smith
Country: Ireland

i read this article along with other peoples comments i gave birth to a prem baby at 24 weeks and i have to say if i had of red this site when he was in hospital i might have been more prepared as he didnt make it due to severe brain bleeds. the doctors firstly told me he would have no quality of life if he made it as he would be severly disabled but i dint care as long as i still had him with me i spoke to other mothers that i knew 1 with profoundly physical and mentally disability and she along ih her son still have a good life which made me 100% sure i wanted him to fight unfortunatly his bleeds were to severe and he didnt pull through but reading this makes me think that maybe it is more common than i realised and i am definitly not alone.
Name: Mum of premature baby
Country: India

this article is very frustating. instead of pointing out all the negative things in such harsh way, you mus put articles which gives hope and support to parents of premature baby. i strongly suggest you to remove this artile from your website.
Name: HP
Country: India

i think the article gives us some facts. i had a prem baby at 23 mths.. the doctors made it clear that the chances of her survival were bleak.. i still wanted the child to survive. the doctors also informed me that there could be physical or menatal deformities. i still persisted on saving the bady considering the high medical costs involved. the baby survived for only about 48 hours. i now ponder if is worth saving a baby ( not allowed by mother nature) with huge costs and still have disabled child for the entire life to suffer. i think mother nature should be let to take its own course. what is your optinion.
Name: gap
Country: U.S.A.

hi my name is gap i had a premiee at about 25 weeks four years ago and she is going wonderful you cant even tell. the doctors took good care of her in the icu so dont worry every thing well be fine just take it one day at a time give them time to grow to their right age withch after 2 years old they catch up and remember god only put things on us he knows we can handle
Name: VV
Country: India

the article is quite disturbing i have twin baby girls born at 28 weeks now 5 months old and doing quite well. the medial science is quite advance now days. should also write in the positive results not all premature babies born are mentally & physically disable
Name: RKR
Country: India

i really flabbergasted about this prematures along with what i attacked with my baby. we are in first class medical practices enire global. i am plead for the professionals, where are the remedial measures to live baby with healthy (mentally/physically) in his/her entire life? is any good treatements for pulmanory humarge,bleed,etc.. to give a healthy life for baby? if not medical practices are flabby.
Name: barbara allen
Country: Ireland

i had a baby girl at31+4 weeks,doctors told us that she had a major brain bleed exact words " right side of her brain is dead"she would not live,when she did we were told she would have severe handicapps ie. never drink from bottle smile vocilise have cp at moment she is 1 year, smiling saying mama dada, drinking from bottle and cup.eating solids doing very well. my advise to any parent with premature baby is to love their baby and take one day at a time no one knows the outcome and all children are special.
Name: hayley dymond
Country: United Kingdom

i posted my original artice on here a good 11 months babt was one pond 43 oz at twenty four weeks gestation when he was born...i am out raged to see people asking what the point is in saving these baby had the worst type of damage to his brain possible in a neo nate and was as early as they come !!! yet he only has very very mild cerebral palst which is unlikely to affect him and to me he is perfect !! the point in saving them is that nobody really knows...with my babies original p rognosis i was asked for permission not to resusitate ..i refused and every day i look at my boy i am soooo glad. the point is u can have a baby with massive brain damage that is unaffected and a baby with no damage that is badly afffected each case is differen...but if a tiny sick underweight baby is streong enough to fight for his first breath then he should be allowed a chance of that...and for any one who wants to argue that ...come look at my perfect boy...
Name: Mom of a preterm baby
Country: India

my baby was born at 31 weeks. he is doing well now. no complications nothing. the article here explains the pros and cons of the decision of going forward with the pre term baby,we should take it positively.consult your doctor about keeping the baby and i would say that go with your dr`s opinion and dont listen to anyone else in these tough times.
Name: sonia
Country: India

i have also delivered apremature baby boy of 24 weeks after 4 years of my marriagebut now he is not with me he dies after 10 days i think if he survives then he must have problem because of brain hamerage by thinkingall this what god do for us thats all right i want my baby comes again with a healthy body n mind with a good soul
Name: sonia
Country: India

i have also delivered apremature baby boy of 24 weeks after 4 years of my marriagebut now he is not with me he dies after 10 days i think if he survives then he must have problem because of brain hamerage by thinkingall this what god do for us thats all right i want my baby comes again with a healthy body n mind with a good soul
Name: seorang prematur yang hidup normal
Country: Indonesia

kemaren habis baca komik kedokteran jepang tentang kelahiran "prematur", saya jadi tertarik dengan topik ini karena saya juga prematur kurang dari 7 bulan. menurut saya pribadi: di usia saya yang akan segera menginjak 21 thn, saya memiliki berat dan tinggi tubuh yang sesuai dengan imt saya 21,84. tensi 120/80, gula darah 107mg/dl. otak juga kayaknya lumayan saya bisa masuk kuliah lewat jalur spmb di ptn faforit. kehidupan sosial juga gak ada masalah saya termaksud motor dalam berbagai organisasi yang saya ikuti. waktu saya masih sekolah dipondok pesantren ada sekitar 20 anak dengan iq di atas rata-rata(110-superior) dan ajaibnya sebagian besar termaksud saya adalah mantan bayi prematur dan rata-rata memiliki olah raga favorit (hokkey, tennis, sepakbola dan speda). jujur saja saya memiliki masalah dalam hal pernafasan jika melakukan olahraga berat. tapi saya kini adalah seorang "manusia dewasa" bukan "bayi" lagi. saya bisa berpikir dan berusaha memecahkan masalah saya sendiri. contoh untuk masalah diatas, saya kos jauh dari kampus dan pulang pergi menggunakan speda, sehingga baik paru-paru maupun jantung saya terlatih sehingga masalah pernafasan saya sedikit berkurang. suatu saat bayi prematur ibu-ibu pasti akan menjadi manusia dewasa juga yang bisa memecahkan masalahnya sendiri, jangan takut walaupun mereka memiliki kekurangan, percayalah mereka pasti akan mampu hidup berjalan dengan gagah tanpa minder, malu, takut, lemah dan gugup di lingkungan sosial mereka. selama ibu-ibu mampu memberi kepercayaan diri pada mereka, keimanan pada sang kholik, support dan motivasi pada hal-hal yang mereka senangi. bukan memanja, memproteksi, melindungi berlebihan, apalagi selalu menganggap mereka bayi yang rawan dan lemah.
Name: Lassie
Country: Equatorial Guinea

hi everyone. what if this weren't a hypothetical question? i am from sri and also now'm speaking english, give please true i wrote the following sentence: "china manufacturer and exporter of ribavirin, oxytoin, sulpiride, meropenem, terbinafine." with respect :p, lassie.

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