A premature birth is a birth that takes place more than three weeks before the baby is due. In other words, a premature birth is one that occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. Normally, a pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks.
Premature birth gives the baby less time to develop in the womb. Premature babies, especially those born earliest, often have complicated medical problems.
Depending on how early a baby is born, he or she may be:
• Late preterm, born between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy
• Moderately preterm, born between 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy
• Very preterm, born at less than 32 weeks of pregnancy
• Extremely preterm, born at or before 25 weeks of pregnancy
Most premature births occur in the late preterm stage.
The signs that a baby's gestation has been cut short include:
• Small size, with a disproportionately large head
• Sharper looking, less rounded features than a full-term baby's features, due to a lack of fat stores
• Fine hair (lanugo) covering much of the body
• Low body temperature, especially immediately after birth in the delivery room, due to a lack of stored body fat
• Labored breathing or respiratory distress
• Lack of reflexes for sucking and swallowing, leading to feeding difficulties
Possible tests for your premature baby may include:
• Breathing and heart rate monitor. Your baby's breathing and heart rate are monitored on a continuous basis. Blood pressure readings are done frequently, too.
• Fluid input and output. The NICU team carefully tracks how much fluid your baby takes in through feedings and intravenous fluids and how much fluid your baby loses through wet or soiled diapers, blood draws and other tests.
• Blood tests: Blood samples are collected through a heel stick or a needle inserted into a vein to check a variety of items including calcium, glucose and bilirubin levels in your baby's blood. A blood sample may also be analyzed to measure the red blood cell count and check for anemia.
• Echocardiogram: This test is an ultrasound of the heart to check for problems with your baby's heart function
• Ultrasound scans. Ultrasound scans may be done to check the brain for bleeding or fluid buildup or to examine the abdominal organs for problems in the gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys.
• Eye exam: An ophthalmologist (eye doctor) may examine your baby's eyes and vision to check for problems with the retina (retinopathy of prematurity).
If your baby develops any complications, other specialized testing may be needed.
1. Supportive Care:
Specialized supportive care for your baby may include:
• Being placed in an incubator. Your baby will probably stay in an enclosed plastic bassinet (incubator) that's kept warm to help your baby maintain normal body temperature.
• Monitoring of your baby's vital signs. Sensors may be taped to your baby's body to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and temperature. A ventilator may be used to help your baby breathe.
• Having a feeding tube. At first your baby may receive fluids and nutrients through an intravenous (IV) tube. Breast milk may be given later through a tube passed through your baby's nose and into his or her stomach (nasogastric, or NG, tube). When your baby is strong enough to suck, breast-feeding or bottle-feeding is often possible.
• Replenishing fluids. Your baby needs a certain amount of fluids each day, depending upon his or her age and medical conditions. The NICU team will closely monitor fluid, sodium and potassium levels to make sure that your baby's fluid levels stay on target. If fluids are needed, they'll be delivered through an IV line.
• Spending time under bilirubin lights. To treat infant jaundice, your baby may be placed under a set of lights — known as bilirubin lights — for a period of time. The lights help your baby's system break down excess bilirubin, which builds up because the liver can't process it all. While under the bilirubin lights, your baby will wear a protective eye mask to rest more comfortably.
• Receiving a blood transfusion.
Aadil Hospital is equipped with all latest facilities that include
- Pediatric ventilator
- Pediatric cardic moniter