In the first few months after giving birth, women who had preterm births are more likely to suffer from health problems and have negative feelings about their new-borns. They utilize less postnatal services and support than other women. Preterm birth is a problem that affects 5% to 18% of all births worldwide.
Premature birth occurs more than three weeks before the approximate due date of the baby. In other words, a premature birth occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy is reached.
Having a premature baby, especially one born at a very early stage, can present several unique medical challenges. Premature complications can range widely. Premature birth complications typically vary. However, the earlier you deliver your baby there will be a higher chance of complications.
Premature birth causes and effects
When a premature birth occurs, it’s often impossible to pinpoint the cause. However, certain factors have been identified as increasing a woman’s risk of premature labor.
Premature birth is more common in pregnant women who have one or more of the following conditions:
- coronary artery disease
- the disease of the kidneys
- blood pressure that’s too high
Several pregnancy-related factors are linked to premature birth:
- Prior and post-pregnancy malnourishment
- Pregnant women who take illegal drug or drinks alcohol
- Infections of the urinary tract and amniotic membranes
- Previously delivered prematurely
- Abnormal uterus
- The cervix that is weak than normal opens early.
Pregnant women under the age of 17 or over the age of 35 are at an increased risk of giving birth prematurely.
Premature birth is one of the complications of premature labor which has affects on the health of the baby and mother. If your baby is born underweight, he or she may have breathing problems, underdeveloped organs, and vision issues. Cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and behavioural issues are all more common in premature babies.
It is common for preterm births to be caused by infections or abruption of the fetus. Premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall causes placental abruption.
The Mother’s Risk of Infection
However, the mother’s health may be at risk as a result of these complications. In some cases, a severe infection in the mother necessitates intravenous antibiotic treatment. In some cases, infections can be deadly.
For some women, a C-section is necessary during preterm labor because preemie babies are often in breeched or other unusual positions inside the womb. Having a preemie in labor can also be a challenge. C-sections may be necessary for mothers who are pregnant with preemies for their babies to be more comfortable during the process of labor.
What should you keep in mind while making decisions about extremely premature birth?
If your baby is having health issues, your doctor should be able to tell you what medical treatment is best for him or her. There should be a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option. You should also think about the potential effects on your future pregnancies and your overall health.
If the baby’s health and yours are in jeopardy, the only other option is to terminate the pregnancy before 24 weeks of pregnancy. This alternative can be discussed with your medical team, who can give you advice and information.
Your medical team should also talk about any laws that must be followed to provide life-saving care for the baby.
What will happen if a decision is made to stop providing life-saving treatment altogether?
If you decide to stop providing life-saving care, we will take steps to keep the baby warm and comfortable while you make that decision. There is no limit on the amount of time you can spend with your child. A hospital staff member can assist you in preserving your memories, such as taking photos or creating footprints. Make sure you get the help and support you need from your health care team!
If an extremely premature baby does not produce its surfactant, the lungs may be underdeveloped. As a result, a new-born may develop respiratory distress syndrome, also known as hyaline membrane disease. For this reason, pregnant women who are at risk of premature delivery before 34 weeks are often given glucocorticoids, which cross the placenta and stimulate the production of surfactants in the baby’s lungs.
A second “rescue” course of steroids may be administered 12 to 24 hours before the anticipated birth in cases of premature birth. If you’ve already had RDS, the second course of steroids may be worth the risk, even if you’re concerned about the efficacy and side effects.
An increased risk of infection in the mother, difficulty managing diabetes, and potential long-term effects on the infants’ neurodevelopment are just a few of the concerns about prenatal corticosteroids. When and for how long should steroids be administered is a hot topic of debate. Despite these uncertainties, the benefits of a single course of prenatal glucocorticosteroids far outweigh the possible risks.
Antibiotics are routinely given to all pregnant women who are at risk of preterm labor, which has been shown to lower the mortality rate associated with group B streptococcus infection. You can also get the antibiotics by free pharmacy delivery.
These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, calcium channel blockers, beta mimetics, and atosiban, all of which are effective in delaying delivery. Tocolysis rarely causes more than a 24-48-hour delay in delivery. Corticosteroids can be given to pregnant women if the delay is long enough, and they can be transferred to a facility that specializes in the care of preterm babies.
Preventing preterm birth is still a difficult task because the causes of preterm birth can be numerous and complicated. The good news is that pregnant women can take extra precautions to reduce their risk of premature birth and improve their overall health, which is a good thing. Follow these steps:
- Pregnant women should seek regular medical attention. Prenatal visits allow your doctor to keep an eye on your health and the health of your unborn child. Mention any symptoms that cause you any concern. An increased frequency of visits to your healthcare provider during pregnancy may be necessary if you have a history of or show symptoms of preterm labor.
- Maintain a balanced diet to prevent disease. Pregnant women who eat a nutritious diet are more likely to have a healthy baby. Some studies have found a link between a lower risk of preterm birth and a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Phosphorus, oleic acid, and linoleic acid (ALA) are all PUFAs.
- Stay away from potentially harmful substances. If you’re a smoker, give up the habit immediately. Ask your doctor if there is a smoking cessation program available. Illicit drugs, too, are prohibited. This effect the lifestyle of mother and child.
- Consider spacing your pregnancies if possible. Several studies have found a correlation between the number of pregnancies spaced less than six months apart and the risk of premature birth. Pregnancy spacing is something you might want to discuss with your doctor.
- Always use caution when utilizing assisted reproductive technology (ART) (ART). Consider how many embryos you’ll transfer if you decide to use ART to conceive. Premature labor is more common in women who have had multiple pregnancies.
- Control long-term health problems. Diabetic, hypertensive, and obese women have a higher risk of preterm labor. Maintain control of any long-term conditions by working with your doctor.