A normal pregnancy comes to an end between week 37 and 42. But this does not always happen and sometimes childbirth occurs earlier than expected. It is estimated that between 5 and 10% of pregnancies are premature. The later childbirth occurs, the more chances of survival the baby has and the less health problems he will have. Today we will talk about premature births, why they occur and their possible risks in the short and long term.
As we have seen a premature birth is the one that happens before the 37th week of pregnancy. Depending on the week in which delivery occurs there will be more or less complications:
- Late premature: babies born between week 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
- Moderate preterm: when they are born between week 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy.
- Very premature: for babies born before the 32nd week of pregnancy.
- Extreme premature: when they are born before the 25th week of pregnancy.
Normally, most preterm infants are late preterm. These babies need special care and should stay longer in the hospital. Before week 21 you are not normally prepared to survive outside the uterus.
Why do they happen?
There is no single reason that causes preterm birth but if there are a number of risk factors that can cause it. Among them are:
- History of previous abortions or premature births
- Multiple pregnancy (more than one baby).
- Preeclampsia or eclampsia.
- Disturbances in the uterus, cervix or placenta (placenta detachment, placenta previa).
- Be over 35 and less than 17.
- Excess physical exertion.
- Taking legal and illegal drugs.
- Some infections.
- Low weight or excess weight of the mother.
- Trauma or physical injury.
- Traumatic events.
- Make efforts.
- Presence of multiple fibroids.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Mother’s stress.
- Iron problems.
What complications do you have?
Preterm deliveries have a number of complications, which can be mild or severe depending on the week of pregnancy in which it occurs. Some health problems can even affect the long term.
Short-term complications you may have are breathing problems, this is because your lungs are not properly mature. They may also have heart, brain, temperature control, metabolism, gastrointestinal, blood, and immune system problems.
long term , it can cause childhood cerebral palsy, vision and hearing problems, dental problems, learning problems, delayed development, and other health problems such as asthma, infections, or sudden death.
Not necessarily a premature baby will have these sequels. Many spend only a few days in the incubator to gain enough weight. It will depend on the week you were born, there will be more or less health problems.
How can it be prevented?
The first thing is to have good medical control to be able to identify all possible risk factors and thus be able to treat them, especially before looking for pregnancy. This can be treated before pregnancy and reduce their potential risks. Among them are quitting smoking, losing weight if you are overweight or gaining if there is too thinness, controlling iron levels, eating healthy, not making efforts, taking folic acid and iron, walking several times a week and avoiding as much as possible sources of stress.
During pregnancy we will not always be able to control all possible risk factors but there are others that do. That is why it is convenient to focus on those who are in our hand. If premature birth still occurs you should not feel bad or guilty for not having managed to lengthen the pregnancy. There are things that are not under our control and we must not be fustiated about it. Thank you that your body has created a life for as long as it was, and then it will be the task of doctors to take care of you as best as possible. Do not miss the article “the first days at home with your premature baby”.
Because remember… following your medical checkups is essential to monitor both your and your baby’s health as best as possible.