Preterm delivery – prevention, causes, and treatment. Every year, thousands of children are born before the 37th week of pregnancy, that is, too early. Many premature babies are born with a gestation period of even less than 30 weeks. Extreme or deep prematurity is considered to be birth during gestational periods between 24 and 25 weeks.
What causes preterm labor?
In many cases, the exact cause of preterm labor cannot be established. Risk factors are pre-existing maternal diseases like hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease. Also, possible triggers are problems that occur during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, infections, cervical weakness, premature labor, or premature rupture of amniotic fluid. Mental and psychosocial problems of the mother, such as fear, stress, or problems in the partnership, can also be the cause. A cervical infection can also often be defined as a trigger.
How can preterm delivery be prevented?
The best prevention of preterm delivery is preventive examinations at the gynecologist. If problems arise, in most cases bed rest is prescribed. Often it is treated with stopping injections or pills (tocolytics). If premature labor can no longer be delayed, then give drugs that accelerate the maturation of the lungs. In this case, it is imperative to choose a clinic with an intensive care unit for preterm delivery. This will reduce the risk of transporting the newborn to the intensive care unit. The mother will also then have the opportunity to visit her child at any time.
The baby was born prematurely – what to do?
The first look at your premature baby causes many parents to be shocked, as their child does not at all correspond to what they usually imagine under a newborn. Not only because it is absolutely tiny. Extremely premature babies have a senile appearance, their skin is thin, like paper, and transparent, the eyes are often still closed their ears and nasal cartilages are often not formed. Tubes and wires are attached to the child, and a surveillance monitor that continuously displays graphics and squeals often scares parents.
In the prenatal centers, they are encouraged to contact their child as soon as possible. Often parents can visit the child at any time, talk to him, stroke him, and when the child’s condition allows, he can also cuddle with him (“kangaroo” method).
They can tell their child stories, hum songs, hold the handles and can soon be involved in taking care of the child (measure the temperature, change diapers, lubricate the mouth, bathe the child, maybe even feed through a probe). They should use every opportunity to be with the child. He needs their intimacy.
After discharge from the clinic
It is possible to say that the child can be discharged home on the expected length of stay in the clinic, provided that there are no serious complications anymore: the child’s breathing must be stable (there is no apnea and bradycardia), he must take his own food. The weight of the child is not so important.
Home is very important conscientious patronage. Before discharge, try to find a baby doctor nearby who has experience in caring for premature babies. If the clinic cannot or does not want to help you find a suitable address, find the contacts of the parent initiative group at your place of residence and ask them to recommend a pediatrician. It is also recommended to talk with the selected doctor. You can even get a prescription for medicine for your child to calm him down in the first days after returning home so that he does not have too much time in stress. Also, inquire in time about the need for physiotherapy for the treatment of the child.
You are not alone
Do you remember? Thousands of children are born prematurely each year. Therefore, there is an opportunity and confidence in the exchange of experience with other parents. Use every opportunity to get support in your situation. Now a lot is being done even for children who are born between the 24th and 25th week of pregnancy. But often this is a very long and difficult path for parents, and they need the help of relatives, friends, doctors, therapists, kindergartens, teachers.