Pregnancy usually lasts 39 weeks. However, if a child is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, doctors speak of premature birth. Even if the child weighs less than two and a half kilograms, it is considered a “premature baby”. We’ll tell you what signs parents should watch during pregnancy to reduce the risk of preterm birth.
From the 28th week of pregnancy, premature babies have very good chances of survival. Medical advances have given babies born at week 23 of pregnancy a real chance of survival. Of course, it always depends on the individual level of development of the child. From the 33rd week of pregnancy, the child’s development is almost the same as that of a baby who is born on the calculated date of birth.
Stress, high blood pressure and infections are the best known risks to the unborn baby. These circumstances can cause premature labor. Therefore, the mother-to-be should definitely avoid mental and physical strain. A partner or a domestic help can take on important tasks and thus perform relieving functions. If the pregnant woman is working, she should under no circumstances lift too heavily or jerky movements at work – this can lead to the fact that the placenta detaches prematurely and bleeding occurs, which also favors premature birth.
Other risks include too much amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac, multiple pregnancies, smoking, alcohol or drug use, and extreme overweight or underweight of the mother. Women with iron deficiency also have premature babies more often than women without this deficiency symptom.
Experts also judge the late fertility critical of women older than 40 years. Examinations during pregnancy can reveal vaginal infections at an early stage and provide regular information about the situation and health of the child. It is important that the baby is supplied with nutrients by the mother’s body all the time.
Every pregnant woman should take care of her body during the pregnancy generally observe carefully and discuss any irregularities with a doctor. Premature labor can be the first signs of premature birth and pose great risks. If bleeding and an open cervix accompany the premature labor, this is a clear sign of an impending premature birth.
In the case of a blister jump (the premature bursting of the amniotic sac), a distinction must be made: In some pregnant women, a little amniotic fluid occasionally escapes, but this does not pose any risks for mother or child. Regardless of whether you recognize signs of a possible premature birth, you should definitely take the regular check-ups.
In order for the baby’s organs to develop normally, it is important to keep the pregnancy as long as possible. The lower the baby’s weight, the more often premature babies are affected by malformations and the greater the risk of mental or physical disabilities. Bed rest is particularly important here.
If labor has already started, monitoring in the hospital is advisable. The administration of medication can help to relax muscles and reduce contractions. Cervical insufficiency can also be the cause of premature birth. The cervix is shortened and opens prematurely. In such a case, the cervix can be closed with a plastic band (cerclage) or a ring (pessary).
Therapy of the infant
Treatment options have gradually improved in recent years, so that almost 100 percent of babies born after the 28th week of pregnancy survive today. As a rule, the premature baby is placed in an incubator (incubator) immediately after birth. In this chamber there is always a constant temperature and humidity. If necessary, additional oxygen can be added. The shield also protects the baby from infections.
If the premature babies cannot eat or drink, they are supplied with nutrients via probes and infusions. At an early stage, babies cannot digest milk. During this time, they are supplied with a water-sugar mixture, and later pumped breast milk can be fed to them.
Every year around eight percent of people come to Germany Babies too early in the world. The further the child has developed, the better the chances of survival. Thanks to medical advances in newborn intensive care and trained nursing staff who reliably recognize the first signs of premature birth, even premature babies with a birth weight of less than 1500 grams survive today.
But in the rarest of cases these develop baby age-appropriate. The reason: The organs of premature babies are immature, and the sucking and swallowing reflex has not yet started. Speech, vision, or hearing problems, as well as damage to the brain or musculoskeletal system that can lead to severe developmental deficits affect the life of the child and the entire family. Premature babies are also more susceptible to infections, asthma, Learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and allergies.