When a baby is born more than three weeks earlier than the estimated due date, that baby is called “premature baby”. Premature babies have not grown and developed as much as they should have before birth. Thus, as a consequence, it might potentially impair growth and child development. The parents of premature babies are always concerned whether their kids will be able to grow up healthily as the normal kids. In fact, child development substantially depends on both maternal factors and babies themselves. The special care appropriately suggested by expert pediatricians and regular health check-ups are the essential keys to largely helps premature babies to continue their growth and development in the similar way to the normal babies do.
Contributing Factors To Premature Birth That Impair Baby’s Growth And Development
There are known risk factors of premature delivery derived from both mothers and babies, including:
Maternal factors that increase chances of premature birth might include:
- Giving birth before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Younger gestational age is associated with increased risk of complications and premature birth;
- Younger than 16 or older than 35;
- Some infections, particularly the infection of the amniotic fluid and lower genital tract. Typically, baby is surrounded and cushioned by a fluid-filled membranous sac called the amniotic sac. At the beginning of or during labor, membranes will rupture — also known as water breaking. If water breaks before labor starts longer than 18 hours (called prelabor rupture of membranes), chances of premature birth significantly increase;
- Problems with the placenta, uterus or cervix e.g. short cervix;
- Some chronic underlying conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes;
- Having a previous premature birth;
- Multiple miscarriages or abortions;
- History of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys; and
- Pregnancy with twins or other multiples.
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