How to Take Care of a Premature Baby
A normal pregnancy lasts around nine months or about thirty eight
to forty two weeks. Babies are considered to be premature babies
if they are born before thirty-seven weeks old. Even though there
are many different factors known to help in being able to predict
exactly which pregnancies are at risk for premature delivery; you
will find it shocking to know that in most cases, no causes found.
There are many different risk factors which are going to increase
the chances of having premature babies. Some of those risk factors
- Diabetes will put you at risk of having premature babies
- High blood pressure you may be at risk of having premature babies
- Infections during your pregnancy, will increase the chances
of having premature babies
- Drinking alcohol or doing illicit drugs while you were pregnant
increases the risk of having premature babies
- If you have too much or too little amniotic fluid, you are also
more likely to have a premature baby
If you are pregnant and you think that you may be at risk for having
a premature baby, you will need to discuss this with your obstetrician.
If your obstetrician thinks that you are at high risk, he or she
will send you to see a perinatologist. A perinatologist is a doctor
specializing in the field of high risk pregnancies.
If you think you are in pre-term labor, you will need to call your
doctor right away. Signs of pre-term labor include uterine contractions
as well as pain and an increase in vaginal discharge. If you know
your baby is going to be born premature, you are going to need to
talk with your pediatrician as well as the neonatologist before
it is actually time to deliver. Once your baby is born, your baby
will likely be put in the NICU which is the neonatal intensive care
Once premature babies begin to gain weight and begin taking a bottle,
they are generally able to go home. However, you should keep in
mind that premature babies normally have to stay in the hospital
until they are considered to be full term. Soon after you get home
from the hospital, you are going to need to carry your baby is the
doctor. During this doctor visit, the doctor will check the baby’s
weight and they will ask how your baby is doing at home.
Make sure you talk with your doctor about feeding your baby as
well. Your doctor may even decide to recommend your baby to take
vitamins or iron as well as a special formula. Vitamins are normally
given to a premature baby in order to help them grow and stay healthy.
Your baby may also need a little extra iron. After your baby has
reached four months old and taking the iron drops, your baby will
have the exact amount of iron a full term baby has. However, your
doctor may recommend your baby take the iron drops until they are
at least a year old.