Overview of the Preterm Babies Term
Preterm birth is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed.
There are sub-categories of preterm birth, based on gestational age:
- Moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 <weeks)
- Very preterm (<32 weeks)
- Extremely preterm (<28 weeks)
Caesarean birth should not be planned before 39 completed weeks unless medically indicated.
Dangers for the Preterm Babies
Every year an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm and this number is rising. Across 184 countries, the rate of preterm birth ranges from 5 to 18% of babies born.
Almost 1 million babies die each year due to preterm birth complications. And it is mostly the cause of death under the age of 5 years old among the children.
Many of them who survived faced a learning disability hearing problem, as well as visual problems and disabilities for a lifetime
Some Stats about the Preterm Birth over the Globe
Preterm birth is a global issue; however, more than 60% cases occur in Africa and South Asia. But within countries the families which are poor are highly at risk.
Here’s the list of countries with the greatest number of these cases
- The United States of America: 517 400
- Brazil: 279 300
- China: 1 172 300
- Nigeria: 773 600
- Pakistan: 748 100
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo: 341 400
- India: 3 519 100
- Indonesia: 675 700
- Bangladesh: 424 100
- The Philippines: 348 900
Being born too early can cause short term and long term health problems, the earlier a baby born the more the risk of complications will increase.
Complications in the Preterm Babies
During the first week, the following preterm birth complications are lung problems that may well develop Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS):
- Brain problems such as intraventricular hemorrhage.
These complications cause bleeding in the brain. The temperature control problem in which the rapid body heat loss and if body temperature drops too low it causes hypothermia.
Gastrointestinal problems are very likely in premature babies that can cause necrotizing enter colitis (NEC). Blood problem such as anemia and jaundice.
Metabolism issues, and a weak underdeveloped immune system that can lead to life threatening complications, and infections that can spread in blood stream causing sepsis.
Cerebral palsy, impaired cognitive skills, behavioral and psychological problems such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These babies need proper hospital care.
And these babies have a high risk of having sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Death rate of the Preterm Babies
But there’s a huge difference depending where they are born in the survival of these babies, 90% of preterm babies born in low-income countries die within the few days of life.
And less than 10% of them die in high-income settings. Likewise, 12% of babies are born too early as compared to 9% of countries with the highest income on average.
Mainly chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and multiple pregnancies are the common causes of preterm births. And you can’t ignore the genetic influence as well, but sometimes no causes are identified as well.
However, to prevent preterm birth complications need to understand the mechanism and causes in a better way will help the developmental work to move in on advance level of solutions.