Treatment of Premature Infants
November 12, 2013
Premature babies are babies born before 37 weeks. For some babies they are born closer to their due dates and suffer from little to no consequences of being born preterm. Preterm infants is another word for premature that is defined as any infant born before their due date. Where as the term small-for-date refers to babies that are born at the desired due date, but are below the expected weight for the length of time spent in the womb. About 500,00 babies are born prematurely in the United States alone. Many premature babies are forced to spend extended times in hospitals and suffer from health problems that can affect later life. Premature infants need more intensive and immediate care than full term infants to help recovery and survival.
Certain activities or health problems put a women at greater risk for having a preterm infant. Some women have no signs that they are going to deliver preterm. Some of the risks of having a preterm infant include multiple births and in vitro fertilization. Mothers carrying more than one baby have a greater risk of having a their babies born premature or small-to-date. Also women that do not get proper prenatal care put themselves at greater risk to have a preterm infant. Unfortunantley, some women cant afford the prenatal care necessary for the developing fetus or are not educated about behavior needed for a healthy pregnancy. They may not visit their doctor to help monitor the developing fetus and they may not being eating right. Some mothers develop eating disorders because they feel their bodies are changing and they think they are fat or unattractive. These women put their unborn baby in danger because they deprive the infant of the necessary nutrients needed for proper growth and devlopement. Mothers that are overweight or underweight at conception also put their fetus at risk for being premature. Drug use, as in cigarettes and alcohol increase the risk of having a preterm baby, along with having a baby born with illnesses. Cigarettes use during pregnancy increases risks of asthma and difficulties breathing. The more cigarettes a mother smokes while pregnant, increases the risks, even if the the mother quits in her third trimester of pregnancy she could still reduce the risk of premature birth of her baby and health issues associated with smoking. Mothers who drink alcohol while pregnant increase the risks of premature births along with birth defects that are visible. Babies born to alcoholic parents suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which has physical abnormalities and issues with memory, language and communication. Another factor that can increase risk for having a premature infant is illegal drug use. About 4% of expecting mothers in the United States use mood altering drugs , like cocaine and heroin. Babies born from drug using parents are greater at risk for premature birth, breathing diffiiculties, physical defects and death shortly after birth. The infants are born addicted to the substance the mother was using and become irritable and stressed when the drug supply from the mother is cut off. Drug use is linked to memory, language and motor development impairment is young childhood and academic issues. High blood pressure and diabetes also increase the risk of having a premature baby. Stress can also bring about a premature birth. For other women, they may have no signs of having a premature baby and don’t engage in any risky behavior during pregnancy , and still deliver babies prematurely. Infants born prematurely need more care after birth to make sure they are able to survive and they have to be accessed for any abnormalities.
After birth premature babies are immediately put in incubators to keep the baby’s body temperature warm as they are rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In the NICU they recieve...
Bibliography: Lee, Kimberly G. NY Times. Premature Infants, 2011. Web. 6 November. 2013. < http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/premature-infant/overview.html>
March of Dimes. Your Premature Baby, 2013.Web. 6 November. 2013
MayoClinic. Premature Birth, 2011. Web. 6 November. 2013. < http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premature-birth/DS00137/DSECTION=treatments%2Dand%2Ddrugs>
Sifferlin, Alexandra. Time Health and Family. Lasting Effects of Being Born Too Early, 2013. Web. 6 November. 2013.
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