Today thousands of babies are born prematurely each year and this number is increasing. The reasons are diverse, but the possibility is being considered that the main reasons could be the advanced age of the mothers, as well as an increase in multiple births or in vitro fertilization, among others.
Although the percentage of premature babies has skyrocketed, medicine in recent decades has taken a complete turn in its treatment in this regard, achieving a life expectancy for these children of 90%. Nevertheless, it is necessary to distinguish the difference between a premature and a great premature.
What is the difference between preemie and great preemie? Medically the differences are abysmal when it comes to weeks of gestation, since the smaller the more immature and, therefore, there is a greater risk of complications.
In general, those born before 36 weeks of gestation are considered premature; while a large premature is one that was born before week 29 and, in addition, it usually weighs less than 1.5 kg. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that the future consequences for the health of these children will be determined by the degree of prematurity they have. While 10% of those born are premature, so only between 1% and 2% are large premature babies.
The problems associated with premature infants are not usually very serious, the main difficulties being respiratory problems and some cognitive alteration that is usually detected before the age of 5; However, the problems of large premature infants are much more relevant due to the extreme immaturity of their organs:
- Before the 29th week of gestation the lungs are not developed so assisted breathing is essential
- The same happens with the feeding to be done by route and, occasionally, they require some surgical interventions so that the baby can function independently of its mother.
- All these complications are aggravated by food and oxygen restrictions caused by pregnancy outside the womb, which leads to 9% cerebral palsy, cognitive delays or attention deficit and hyperactivity.
You do not have to put your hands to your head, currently medical and health personnel are very aware of the humanization of parents and babies, trying to reduce their stress to a minimum and promoting techniques that are as simple as they are effective: skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding whenever possible, reduce noise from neonatal units or regulate light so that it is the most similar to that of the mother's womb.
On the other hand, babies are no longer isolated in incubators where neither parents can get close, but interaction with parents is essential from the first moment; In addition to being by your side 24 hours a day, they can participate in your care. In addition, hospital exits are tried to be as fast as possible, since it has been proven that babies who have gone home gained twice as much weight as those who were still admitted.
Early stimulation is important from the first moment, since usually alleviates the delays in the child's learning, being necessary a follow-up by psychologists, speech therapists and physiotherapists up to 3 years. Thanks to these types of proposals, and the latest medical advances in this area, we can be much more reassured about the quality of life that our baby will have in the future.
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