Caring for a premature baby
Are you looking forward to the arrival of your child but concerned that he/she will arrive too soon? A premature baby is defined as one who is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. In Malaysia, approximately 8% of premature infants are born. Premature birth is harmful to a baby’s health and may even endanger his or her life.
There are two types of premature infants: low-risk premature infants and high-risk premature infants. Low risk premature infants with a gestational age greater than 34 weeks and a birth weight greater than 2 kg, have no early serious complications, and good postnatal weight growth.
However, there are early serious complications, early feeding difficulties after birth, slow weight growth, and other abnormal conditions of premature infants in high-risk premature infants whose gestational age is less than 34 weeks or birth weight less than 2 kg.
The obvious difference between premature infants and full-term infants is that the smaller the gestational age and weight at birth, the worse the maturity of their organs.
Causes of premature delivery
- Most babies with twins or multiple births are more likely to be premature
- The fetus itself has problems, such as fetal malformation, hypoxia, placental abnormality, etc
- The pregnant mother suffers from diseases, such as acute infectious diseases, chronic diseases such as heart, liver and kidney, pregnancy hypertension, uterine malformation, genital tract infection, etc
- Pregnant mother works too hard for a long time
- The pregnant mother’s mood fluctuates and her spirit is overstretched
- The pregnant mother is under 20 years old or over 35 years old
- The pregnant mother has a history of abortion
What should we pay special attention to when caring for premature infants?
In terms of feeding, premature infants have low strength, slow feeding, and are prone to fatigue when drinking breast milk. Therefore, the number and time of feeding will be more than those of term infants.
Jaundice of premature infants comes earlier and is more serious, and it is not easy to subside. Therefore, if parents find something wrong, they must let the doctor check it in time and get treatment.
In terms of growth, we need to measure the weight every day, because the doctor should compare with the standard growth curve according to the weight, length, head circumference and other growth and development conditions of the baby at the corrected gestational age. With careful treatment and nursing, premature infants can catch up with full-term babies at about 2 years old.
How to prevent premature infants
- Pregnant mothers should avoid smoking, taking drugs and drinking
- Women with chronic diseases (diabetes) should receive appropriate care before pregnancy
- Early and regular antenatal examination, timely discovery and treatment of problems
- If the pregnant mother has uterine contraction, amniotic fluid breaks, fever, etc., she should go to the doctor in time
- Avoid standing and weight bearing
- Have good eating habits
- Try to avoid sex during the third trimester
In fact, pregnant mothers should not worry too much. As long as they follow the doctor’s advice, relax, eat balanced nutrition, and have a healthy schedule, there will be no problem generally.
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