Child born in the last semester i.e. 37th -41st week is said to be a child birth at full term, but if the child is born before the 37th week they are said to be “Preterm” babies. If the infants weight is below 2.4kgs, they are considered to be born “Underweight”. Few infants’ weight at birth is even less than 1.5kg also. There are even cases where the weight of a new born is just 1kg or even less.
There are many reasons and factors for a Preterm Birth, but the main reasons could be as mentioned below:-
- Undernourished mother
- Underweight or Underage mother
- Prolonged illness during pregnancy
- Poor Economic Conditions
- Accident during Pregnancy
- Physical stress or lots of physical work during pregnancy
- Pregnant lady has some vices like drinking, smoking etc…
For a preterm and underweight newborn baby,mother’s milk is considered to be the best. If the infant refuses too often to take the breast milk, than mother can expel their own breast milk and feed they later or they can give the formula milk to the infant as prescribed by the pediatrician.
We can give “Kangaroo Care” (holding the baby with direct skin to skin contact) to the infants. As the preterm born babies are more prone to catch infections, precautions needs to be taken like always to clean your hands before touching them, try and restrict or avoid excessive touch by relatives, etc.
It is very important to monitor their overall growth and weight, so regular visits to the pediatrician is mandatory,
As these infants need a little bit of extra care, ensure if the below mentioned can be implemented:-
- Keep their head alleviated.
- Try and make the baby burp after each feed.
- Make them sleep on their stomach
- Give them warmth, make them wear a cap, mittens and gloves
- Avoid making an infant sleep alone, mothers warmth is vital and important so try and make the baby sleep next to the mother.
If there is no increase in the weight of the infant, or there is further decrease in the weight accompanied with any other complications in that case immediate medical attention is to be taken.
The degree of problems these infants go through is directly related to their weight at birth and care taken after birth. The initial few weeks after the child’s birth are very crucial because that is the time when they are most prone to catch infections like Jaundice, Breathing Disorders, Intestinal issues, Cold body, Hiccups, Deficiency of vitamins like calcium etc. or even Diabetes. The infant born before the 33rd week has very weak lungs.
It is seen that in these kids 5%-10% develop issues like Poor eyesight, Partial or Full Deafness, Fits etc. It is also observed that around 5% and less have Less Brain Development, Speech issues,Behavioralissues, or they have lack of Concentration, Restlessness, and Obesity etc.
In today’s times, with the help of modern technology and equipment’s along with the expert and proficient doctors in the respective field, these types of infants are given best medical treatment and hence the above mentioned problems are seen quite reduced.
Military leaderNapoleon Bonaparte, Novelist like Hugo, Mark Twain, Politicians like Churchill and Lincoln, Scientist like Einstein, Newton , Darwin , famous painter Picasso are the few names who all were either born at Preterm or were underweight , but they have immensely contributed to changing the history of the world.