Premature babies: Care according to months and weeks of their life

Wednesday 31,
Premature babies: Care according to months and weeks of their life

The birth of a desired baby is usually a cause of celebration. When this moment arrives earlier than normal, 37 weeks, expectations may change. We would be talking about a premature birth. It is important to know the care of premature babies.

According to Vicente Diago, Chief of Section of Obstetrics of the University Hospital la Fe of Valencia, "there are numerous factors associated with the appearance of premature births:

  • Sociobiological factors related to malnutrition, tobacco or stress.

  • A pregnancy with a mother less than 18 years or more than 35.

  • Multiple pregnancies

  • A premature rupture of membranes or RPM.

  • Vaginal infections, urinary tract, amnionitis, etc.

  • Hypertension or hypertension and / or preeclampsia.

  • Previous placentas.

  • Cervical incompetence, genetic, malformations, traumatic, neck surgeries, etc.

  • Premature deliveries or abortions in the second trimester.

  • Short amounts of time between two consecutive live births.

Sometimes the most appropriate treatment to prevent it would be preventive, a better nutrition and control of pregnancy, to rest, vitamins or stopping smoking may be some recommendations. Others, for example, the administration of antibiotics. In all cases it will depend of the clinic, the contractions, uterine cervix measurement and gestational age, etc. And always trying to keep the fetus in the womb as long as possible. "

We can classify premature babies according to:

  • Extreme premature: premature baby until 7 months.

  • Very premature: premature baby between 7 and 8 months.

  • Moderate late preterm: premature baby from 8 months to 9.

A study realized by experts of the Sociedad Española de Neonatología, talks about the limit of viability of these babies between 22-25 weeks to survive.

Premature babies: from hospital to home

Babies born with less than 34 weeks will go to the Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos Neonatales o UCIN. They usually have respiratory problems and other complications related with eating or maintaining temperature, so they need special care and attention. These are the main concerns of the UCIN and reasons why these babies will spend their first weeks in an incubator, connected to a ventilator and powered by a tube.

It is difficult to know if the premature baby will suffer some disability. Some of them can be recognized during the first weeks and others do not appear until after childhood.

If the premature baby evolves favorably, it will go to the Unidad de Cuidados Intermedios. Here he will remain until his hospital discharge. The care of the premature baby will be carried out with nutrition and development.

Parents can start learning and practice with the premature baby for the later discharge, in aspects like:

  • Washing the baby.

  • Taking temperature.

  • Feeding him.

  • Making nasal aspirations.

  • Giving a massage to encourage stimulation.

  • Administerng oxygen or medication.

  • Practicng Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation or RCP.

According to the Asociación Española de Pediatría, AEPED, the requirements for discharge are:

  • Stable temperature.

  • Do not have apneas or very brief and without the need for treatment.

  • Feeding by breast or bottle by suction.

  • He has a better weight.

  • Do not need oxygen, although in some cases they can go home with him.

  • Have a weight between 1,800-2,200 g.

If all this is right and the doctor agrees, it is time to go home. It is important to review with the doctor the discharge report, comment if it is safe for the premature baby to sleep on his back and give recommendations to reduce the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Once at home, it is normal for the parents of premature babies to feel insecure about what is normal and what is not. Under normal conditions, some of the most frequent symptoms in premature babies will be:

  • The rejection of food.

  • Excessive crying.

  • Sleep more or less active than usual or be irritable.

  • Cough often.

  • Hiccups.

  • Vomiting.

  • Fast or difficult breathing with chest movements.

  • Frequent or liquid deposits.

To identify the signs that are not dangerous like the hiccups in a newborn baby., is something that is learned as you get to know the baby. Knowing their characteristics and care according to their gestational time can be of great help.

Premature baby of 6 months

Babies born before week 29, have an approximate weight of 1kg and they are called '' extreme premature babies '' or '' large preterm babies '' and they are between 1% and 2%. They require oxygen treatment and mechanical ventilation. They are unable to suck, swallow and breathe at the same time, so they are fed intravenously. It is common that they can not cry and remain asleep for much of the day.

Their skin is very wrinkled, purple and covered with fine hair. They have very closed eyes and do not have eyelashes. A 25% of extreme premature babies suffer permanent disabilities and about 50% have milder learning and behavior problems. The early stimulation of psychologists, speech therapists and physiotherapists is so important.

According to Dr. Miriam Martínez, Deputy Medical Director of the Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos  of Quirón Hospital in Valencia, "precautions should be taken with premature babies once they are discharged from the hospital. Attendance at daycare is discouraged in the first years of life, especially in the first one. In addition, bronchiolitis is one of the most frequent causes of respiratory disease in children under 2 years, it is recommended that parents do not smoke nearby and that can be followed by the pulmonologist with a basic treatment for their respiratory problems for several years. ''


Premature baby of 7 months

They are called '' very premature ''. They look similar to the previous ones but are somewhat larger, above 1.5 kg approximately. They have a 96% chance of survival. Many of them have respiratory problems and oxygen treatment and mechanical ventilation. Some can be breastfed and others can be fed through a tube or intravenously. They can cry and move, open their eyes and be a little more awake.

They also run the risk incidences of so matched, although not as serious as extreme premature babies.

Premature baby of 32 weeks

It was classified as '' very premature '' and is approximately 13%. Their weight is usually between 1.5 and 2 kg. As of week 32, the risk of suffering from health problems can be moderated and their probability of survival is almost 98%.

Normally, anyone can have a breast or bottle-feed, although those with breathing difficulties are not enough to drink for a while.

Babies born at this stage of pregnancy have a lower risk of learning and behavioral problems.


Premature baby of 33 weeks

Babies born prematurely at 33 weeks already have very high survival rates. Their weight is between 2kg and 2.5kg. They are still smaller than a full-term baby, since the baby's greatest growth and weight gain is precisely in those last weeks in the womb.

They are usually able to take small amounts of food and consume a lot of energy to do so, so weight gain can be a problem. They are usually given supplements of calories and vitamins that, along with breast milk, can supply part of the calories and nutrients they lack.

Due to the still immaturity of the lungs, caution should be exercised over respiratory problems, but it is less frequent.

Apnea outbreaks may appear, due to the lack of maturity of the respiratory system, so the premature baby requires constant monitoring and, sometimes, medication during the first weeks.

<h3id="premature34weeks" dir="ltr">Premature baby 34 weeks

They are premature babies almost at term so they have virtually the same chance of survival. Their weigh is more than 2.5 kg normally.

They are still at risk for breathing problems, feeding or regulating temperature. Generally, these problems are mild and most babies recover quickly.

Most of them can be breast-fed or bottle-fed. There is a possibility that some should still be fed through a tube for a short period of time.

These premature babies are unlikely to develop severe disabilities, but they may be at risk for learning and behavioral problems. It is estimated that at week 35, the brain weight is already only two thirds of that of full-term babies.

Premature babies: One last tip

For all premature babies, skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding if possible, reducing noise or regulating light so that it is as close to the maternal womb, will reduce their stress and generate peace of mind.

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