Frequently Asked Questions
Pre-pregnancy babies are born, with their bodies less prepared for the outside world. They require special care to meet the following challenges:
Staying warm: Preterm babies lose body heat more easily, putting them at risk of fatal hypothermia. They require extra energy and care to stay warm and grow.
Feeding: Preterm babies may have trouble feeding because coordinated suck and swallow reflex is not yet fully developed. Additional assistance may be required to feed them.
Breathing: Many preterm babies start breathing on their own as soon as they are born, but others need to be revived. If the lungs are not fully developed and lack surfactants (a substance that helps keep the lungs expanded), then preterm infants may have difficulty breathing. Sometimes, premature babies who start breathing are not strong enough to continue on their own. They exhaust themselves and can stop breathing (apnea).
Infections: Severe infections are more common in preterm infants. Their immune system is not yet fully developed, and they are at greater risk of dying of infection.
Brain: Preterm infants are at risk of bleeding in the brain during birth and in the first few days after birth; This problem occurs in 1 to 5 infants weighing less than 2 kg. Lack of oxygen to preterm infants can also cause brain injuries. Lack or lack of oxygen to the brain can result in cerebral palsy, developmental delays and learning difficulties.
Eyes: Preterm infants' eyes are not ready for the outside world. They can be damaged by abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. The condition is usually more severe in premature babies and if they are given too much oxygen. This can result in visual impairment or blindness.
Preterm infants are at risk of developing a disability that will affect them for the rest of their lives. The extent to which this will affect their lives depends on how soon they were born, the quality of care received during and after birth, and for days and weeks to come.
Preterm refers to a child born 37 weeks before conception. Generally, a pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks.
Preterm birth is a global problem. It occurs in high, low and middle income countries. Each year approximately 15 million babies are born preterm; It is more than 1 in more than 10 infants worldwide. 60% of them originate in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Most preterm births occur spontaneously, but some are due to early induction of labor or caesarean birth, whether for medical or non-medical reasons.
There is no test that can accurately predict that a preterm birth may occur. We do not fully understand the causes of past births.
There are several factors that can put a pregnant woman at high risk of preterm birth, including previous preterm birth, multiple pregnancies such as twins, triplets, etc., some chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and infection. Pregnancy in adolescence is a major risk factor for preterm birth.
Women who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or take other recreational drugs are at greater risk of having a preterm baby. Stress for any reason is also known to increase a woman's prenatal risk.
About 1 million pre-born children are born every year. Children who survive may face lifelong physical, neurological or learning disabilities, often at great cost to families and society.
An estimated three-quarters of these preterm infants may survive if they have access to proven and often inexpensive care - such as warmth, breastfeeding support, and basic care for infections and difficulty breathing.
Although preterm births occur in high-income countries, access to these proven interventions means that approximately 9 out of every 10 preterm infants survive in those settings as opposed to approximately 1 in 10 in low-income countries.
Preterm children are not fully prepared to live in the world outside their mother's womb. They tend to cool down more easily and may help them more than full-term babies. Because their bodies are not yet fully developed, they may have problems with breathing and may also suffer from other complications including infection.