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Preterm birth Health Feed

Premature Birth - How To Take Care Of Your Baby?

Malik Radix Health Care 85% (69 ratings)
MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Premature Birth - How To Take Care Of Your Baby?

The usual full term for a pregnancy is usually around 39 to 40 weeks which varies slightly from woman to woman. However, if your baby is born before the 37th week, then he or she may be considered preterm or to have a premature birth. Premature babies are at a higher risk of infections and may also face a lot of other complications such as low birth weight, anemia, apnea or difficulty in breathing. Some pre-term babies may also end up developing hearing and vision impairments along with developmental problems, learning disabilities and other chronic health problems throughout their lives.

How to take care of your preterm baby?
Although your preterm baby may be predisposed to certain problems, if you take care of them well enough then none of the complications or health problems may occur and they will end up having a normal life like other babies who have been delivered after the full term. Initially, your baby may be kept in a NICU or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a few days until the doctors can describe them out of danger.

Some of the things that you can do as parents during that period are mentioned as follows:

  1. Ensure a supply of breast milkIt is important for you to have an ample supply of breast milk stored as and when your baby needs it. Breast milk helps fight infections as well as provides important nutrients for your baby’s development. Your preterm baby may not be able to have breast milk initially and thus you may have to store them via refrigeration.
  2. Ask for supplements to breast milk for your baby: Your preterm baby may not be able to have breast milk immediately after birth. It is thus important to discuss with the doctor about the right milk supplements which can be given to your baby to help with their nutrition and development.
  3. If you have concerns, immediately bring them up: It is important to share any changes in your baby’s health with your doctor and bring up any concerns with them. They may not seem very significant, but it still makes sense to let the doctors know as it may indicate other serious problems that may develop.
  4. Gather and stay on top of information: It is important to gather as much information as possible for the condition of your child and prepare yourself before you take your child home. Ask the doctors and other medical staff at hand what is being done and what you will need to do once your baby is discharged.
  5. Connect with your baby: Even if your baby was born early, you can have skin to skin contact with him or her as long as the precautions have been properly followed. Also, sing and talk to your baby as you would to a normal child as this would help build closeness and emotional connect between the two of you. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
3905 people found this helpful

Hello, my baby is of one year but below 8 kg. She is preterm born and was of 2 kg at birth. She is not gaining weight although has gud heavy diet.Please tell.

Dr. Jinendra Kumar Jain 93% (2628 ratings)
Diploma in Child Health (DCH), F.I.A.M.S. (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Muzaffarnagar
Hello, my baby is of one year but below 8 kg. She is preterm born and was of 2 kg at birth. She is not gaining weight...
Diet you are giving may be heavy and good as per your perception but may not be sufficient for bay. Give him well cooked oily diet frequently including milk. Continue breast milk till 2 years of age.
3 people found this helpful
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Preterm Labour - Should You Be Worried?

Dr. Shyama Nivas 90% (350 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Patna
Preterm Labour - Should You Be Worried?

When an expecting mother experiences uterine contractions and is getting ready to deliver the baby at 39 to 40 weeks, it is termed as a full-term labor. But due to several factors that can be caused by lifestyle or medical condition, the onset of labor might occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy which is termed as a preterm labor and could lead to an early birth which is not the best possible scenario for the baby. Hence, it is important to understand the factors contributing to the condition and take necessary precautions during pregnancy under the advice of your gynecologist.

Signs of Preterm labor
The typical signs of going into labor such as increased vaginal leak, cramps, and contractions are applicable in the case of early onset of labor as well. Along with this, lower back pain and pressure in the pelvic region might also be felt. Though these are all common during pregnancy and even may be closely related to Braxton Hicks contractions or false labor, it is better to report to your doctor immediately.

Diagnosing a preterm labor
During your routine prenatal checkups, if the doctor observes any change in the cervix or when you notify experiencing the symptoms of preterm labor, an initial pelvic exam will be carried out to check for dilation. This process will be repeated, and your contractions will be monitored. The doctor also would constantly monitor the baby’s heartbeat or rate. Further, the presence of a protein that is linked to preterm labor will be tested to take due care. Based on the findings, the doctor will decide whether you require immediate hospitalization or any other special care.

Should you be worried?
Preterm labor may not always be a cause for concern but in some cases, it may result in premature delivery of the baby. This premature birth can be harmful to both the baby and the mother. Further, if the baby is born premature, then the baby might be underweight, suffer from breathing problems as his or her organs are not adequately developed or face a high risk of infections as the immune system is not well developed. In severe cases, the baby might have long-term developmental disorders as well as behavioral issues.

Though there are definitely risks and complications associated with preterm birth, babies born after 32 weeks of pregnancy have a high rate of survival and in most cases, do not present any long-term complications as well. But it cannot be said the same for the infants born in or before 24 weeks.In such cases, doctors would try to delay the birthing as much as possible for the benefit of the baby. The best way to prevent preterm labor is to have a healthy lifestyle coupled with regular checkups during your pregnancy and act as per doctors’ advice.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2845 people found this helpful

Pre-Term Labour - Can There Be Complications?

Dr. Apoorva Pallam Reddy 93% (247 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Pre-Term Labour - Can There Be Complications?

A preterm labour is referred to a condition when the cervix opens up within 37 weeks of pregnancy. An ideal pregnancy lasts for a span of 40 weeks. If preterm labour is caused due to preterm contractions, the baby is born earlier. This results in serious health risks for the baby. At times it requires long intensive care for the baby to ensure no mental or physical damage happens in the long term.

What are the symptoms of pre-term labour?
While some women show evident signs of pre-term labour, some women present symptoms that are more subtle. Some unmistakable symptoms of pre-term labour include regular contractions, sense of tightness in the lower abdomen, vaginal discharge, diarrhoea, constant backache, bleeding from the vagina, watery discharge from the vagina, pain in the abdomen and abdominal cramps. One or more of these symptoms should be immediately reported to the doctor to negate the chances of any miscarriages or serious complications.

What are the risk factors?
While there are no proven risk factors of preterm labour, lots of factors have been tagged with a pre-term labour. Some of the notable ones include:

  1. Little pre-natal care
  2. Premature birth in previous pregnancies
  3. Giving birth to more than one baby at a time. This is especially applicable while giving birth to a triplet.
  4. A stressful event such as a personal loss or events related to extreme emotions
  5. Bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy
  6. Any infection of the genital tract
  7. Any complications related to the placenta, uterus and cervix
  8. Any birth defect related to the vagina
  9. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  10. Putting on weight more than the recommended level
  11. An excess of amniotic fluid
  12. Consumption of illicit drugs or smoking at a heavy rate
  13. The shorter length of the cervix than the normal one

What are the complications involved?
Pre-term labour cannot be stopped with any medical procedures. If pre-term labour is caused due to smoking or an infection, the same can be addressed. Any pre-term labour that eventually leads to giving birth can confront with complications such as low weight, problems related to the vision of the baby, behavioural problems and learning disabilities.

Diagnosis and tests:
A doctor will closely monitor the symptoms a woman is facing. In the case of regular contraction, a close look at the cervix helps a doctor to decide the condition of a patient. To be assured a doctor might recommend a full pelvic exam, ultrasound test, uterine monitoring, and maturity of amniocentesis. A test of the vaginal secretion further gives the doctor enough evidence about the possibility of a pre-term labour. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

4517 people found this helpful

Preterm Labor: What You Should Know

Dr. Astha Dayal 92% (41 ratings)
Fellowship and Diploma in Laparoscopic Surgery, FOGSI Advanced Infertility Training, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Preterm Labor: What You Should Know

Premature labor is also known as preterm labor. This is the term given when the body gets ready for an early delivery in the pregnancy. Labor is considered to be premature if it starts almost three weeks prior to the due date. Premature labor usually leads to early birth, but now this can be delayed with medical help. It is better that the baby grows inside you because there are fewer chances of problems after birth. 

Risk of Preterm Labor:
Some of the things, which can increase the risk of a preterm labor are:

  • Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy
  • Poor prenatal care
  • Use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Health conditions, such as preeclampsia, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and clotting disorders
  • Pregnant with a bay with birth defects
  • Getting pregnant through vitro fertilization
  • Pregnant with multiples like twins and triplets
  • Becoming pregnant soon after having a baby

Symptoms of preterm labor:
Warning signs should be heeded to stop the stop premature labor, as acting quickly can help. Consult your doctor or midwife immediately in case you have the following:

  1. Backache, especially in the lower back. Back ache can be a constant feature or might keep coming in intervals, but does not change with a change in position.
  2. Contractions that take place in each 10 minutes.
  3. A leaking feeling in the vagina or fluid leakage from the vagina.
  4. Cramps in the lower abdomen very similar to menstrual cramps. These usually give a feeling of gas pains and come with a diarrhea.
  5. Symptoms of flu like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Must to see a doctor if the liquids cannot be tolerated for more than 8 hours. 
  6. The pressure in the vagina or pelvis increases.
  7. Vaginal discharge increases.
  8. There might be light bleeding from the vagina.

Ways to check for contractions:
To spot and early labor one must be sure to check for the contractions. Contractions can be checked by the following:

  1. When the fingertips are placed on the abdomen and the uterus feels too soft or tight then these are contractions.
  2. Contractions if felt, should be timed and the starting time of these should be noted.
  3. Contractions should be stopped by changing the position and drinking some water or by walking around.
  4. Doctor or midwife should be contacted if the contractions occur every 10 minutes and the symptoms worsen.
  5. Sometime women might experience false labor also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are not so strong, are erratic and stop on moving around.
3251 people found this helpful

Preterm Labor - Things To Know!

Dr. Surekha Jain 93% (1079 ratings)
MS, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Preterm Labor - Things To Know!

Premature labor is also known as preterm labor. This is the term given when the body gets ready for an early delivery in the pregnancy. Labor is considered to be premature if it starts almost three weeks prior to the due date. Premature labor usually leads to early birth, but now this can be delayed with medical help. It is better that the baby grows inside you because there are fewer chances of problems after birth. 

Risk of Preterm Labor:

Some of the things which can increase the risk of a preterm labor are -

1. Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy
2. Poor prenatal care
3. Use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
4. Smoking
5. Health conditions such as preeclampsia, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and clotting disorders
6. Pregnant with a bay with birth defects
7. Getting pregnant through vitro fertilization
8. Pregnant with multiples like twins and triplets
9. Becoming pregnant soon after having a baby

Symptoms of preterm labor:

Warning signs should be heeded to stop the stop premature labor, as acting quickly can help. Consult your doctor or midwife immediately in case you have the following -

1. Backache, especially in the lower back. Back ache can be a constant feature or might keep coming in intervals; but does not change with a change in position.
2. Contractions that take place in each 10 minutes
3. A leaking feeling in the vagina or fluid leakage from the vagina
4. Cramps in the lower abdomen very similar to menstrual cramps. These usually give a feeling of gas pains and come with a diarrhea
5. Symptoms of flu like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Must to see a doctor if the liquids cannot be tolerated for more than 8 hours
6. The pressure in the vagina or pelvis increases
7. Vaginal discharge increases
8. There might be light bleeding from the vagina

Ways to check for Contractions

To spot and early labor one must be sure to check for the contractions. Contractions can be checked by the following -

1. When the fingertips are placed on the abdomen and the uterus feels too soft or tight then these are contractions.
2. Contractions if felt, should be timed and the starting time of these should be noted.
3. Contractions should be stopped by changing the position and drinking some water or by walking around
4. Doctor or midwife should be contacted if the contractions occur every 10 minutes and the symptoms worsen

Sometime women might experience false labor also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are not so strong, are erratic and stop on moving around.

3720 people found this helpful

My son old 50 day he suffering Inguinal hernia nd undescended testicle ;i consult 3 -4 pediatrics bt they have different opinion some say wait nd do surgery nd some say do surgery now ;nd his birth not preterm if I wait it not risky? please help me.

Dr. Apoorv Goel 92% (1541 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FIAGES(Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery), FMAS (Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery)
General Surgeon, Ghaziabad
You can wait for 6 months. See if hernia is big then he may require surgery rt now. I already told you that there are 2 approaches. It's already 2 months. Wait till 6 months. You should meet paediatric surgeon. I personally wait for 6 months but in case hernia is large than I do early.
1 person found this helpful
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Hi, After taking proluton injection 250 mg for the 1st time during my 28th week of pregnancy Will I have to take it again after 1 to 2 weeks or it’s fine if I don’t and will deliver a baby after nine months? Or still any chance of still having a pre-term birth?

Dr. Girish Dani 90% (6866 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Hi, After taking proluton injection 250 mg for the 1st time during my 28th week of pregnancy Will I have to take it a...
Pre-term risk is for all till one reaches full term. Proluton depot usually has not much effect but also usually given repeatedly
1 person found this helpful
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Poor Dental Health And Preterm Labor!

Dr. Garima Malhotra 90% (101 ratings)
BDS , MDS, FICOI
Dentist, Noida
Poor Dental Health  And Preterm Labor!

It is very important to take care of your gum health during pregnancy. Studies have shown that patients with bad gum health deliver low birth weight infants and increases the chances of preterm labor.
Schedule your dental check-up before family planning.

2 people found this helpful

Pre-Term Labour: What Are The Complications Involved?

Dr. Himani Sharma 91% (28 ratings)
Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Ajmer, SMS medical College, jaipur
Gynaecologist, Jaipur
Pre-Term Labour: What Are The Complications Involved?

A preterm labour is referred to a condition when the cervix opens up within 37 weeks of pregnancy. An ideal pregnancy lasts for a span of 40 weeks. If preterm labour is caused due to preterm contractions, the baby is born earlier. This results in serious health risks for the baby. At times it requires long intensive care for the baby to ensure no mental or physical damage happens in the long term.

What are the symptoms of pre-term labour?
While some women show evident signs of pre-term labour, some women present symptoms that are more subtle. Some unmistakable symptoms of pre-term labour include regular contractions, sense of tightness in the lower abdomen, vaginal discharge, diarrhoea, constant backache, bleeding from the vagina, watery discharge from the vagina, pain in the abdomen and abdominal cramps. One or more of these symptoms should be immediately reported to the doctor to negate the chances of any miscarriages or serious complications.

What are the risk factors?
While there are no proven risk factors of preterm labour, lots of factors have been tagged with a pre-term labour. Some of the notable ones include:

  1. Little pre-natal care
  2. Premature birth in previous pregnancies
  3. Giving birth to more than one baby at a time. This is especially applicable while giving birth to a triplet.
  4. A stressful event such as a personal loss or events related to extreme emotions
  5. Bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy
  6. Any infection of the genital tract
  7. Any complications related to the placenta, uterus and cervix
  8. Any birth defect related to the vagina
  9. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  10. Putting on weight more than the recommended level
  11. An excess of amniotic fluid
  12. Consumption of illicit drugs or smoking at a heavy rate
  13. The shorter length of the cervix than the normal one

What are the complications involved?
Pre-term labour cannot be stopped with any medical procedures. If pre-term labour is caused due to smoking or an infection, the same can be addressed. Any pre-term labour that eventually leads to giving birth can confront with complications such as low weight, problems related to the vision of the baby, behavioural problems and learning disabilities.

Diagnosis and tests:
A doctor will closely monitor the symptoms a woman is facing. In the case of regular contraction, a close look at the cervix helps a doctor to decide the condition of a patient. To be assured a doctor might recommend a full pelvic exam, ultrasound test, uterine monitoring, and maturity of amniocentesis. A test of the vaginal secretion further gives the doctor enough evidence about the possibility of a pre-term labour.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3445 people found this helpful
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