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Extreme Prematurity in Babies
According to the World Health Organization, preterm birth occurs when a baby is born anywhere between 28 and 37 weeks. On the other hand, extreme prematurity manifests when a pregnant woman delivers an infant in twenty-eight weeks or less. In either case, preterm birth encourages the emergence of chronic health complications, some of which might lead to neonatal death.
What Causes Preterm Birth?
As scientists have determined, African-American women run a higher risk of experiencing premature birth than women of other races. Anyhow, that does not mean you are immune to extreme prematurity, especially if you
- Smoke and abuse drugs
- Have previously suffered from preterm labor or birth
- Suffer from diabetes, kidney, and heart disease
- Have an abnormal cervix/ uterus
- Are a multiple pregnancy candidate
- Conceive between the age of 20 and 35
- Practice poor child spacing intervals
Above all, you are likely to give birth prematurely when you experience infections, high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, blood clot, and placenta complications during pregnancy.
Nonetheless, the worst of the worst does not end there. Preterm babies, too, suffer in the long-term from mental retardation, cerebral palsy, visual impairments, hearing impairments, and retarded growth. Additionally, some of the infants experience severe breathing problems. The life-threatening conditions then make life hard.
Luckily, modern-day interventions now empower doctors to save the lives of preterm neonates. Here is how the dice is cast. First off, the infant is moved to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Doctors then administer fluid, blood composition, blood pressure, breathing, echocardiogram, ultrasound, and eye tests to rule out any complications. Afterward, the NICU staff move your baby to an incubator for specialized supportive care.
The Benefits of NICU Supportive Care
As you now know, preterm neonates suffer more health complications than infants born after 37 weeks. Even worse, these children come to the world underweight and underdeveloped. Simply put, they are broken records. In turn, their chance of survival slims tenth-fold.
Fortunately, specialized nursing care provides caregivers with an opportunity to monitor your baby’s vital signs. The experts then administer ventilators based on urgency, thus alleviating all breathing problems. Additionally, the NICU provides feeding support to your baby.
Recall, the caregivers dispense fluids and nutrients to your baby using the intravenous (IV) tube. Breast milk consumption is then allowed when your child is strong enough to suck. That said, the NICU officials step in and save the day when traditional feeding practices prove impossible.
Over and above all, the NICU is the best place for doctors to monitor and replenish fluids in preterm neonates. After all, the best healthcare facilities today have the latest testing tools, equipment to help you save lives. Yet it does not end there.
According to medical experts, children born in extreme prematurity suffer from undeveloped liver growth. As a result, the existing organ fails to breakdown bilirubin leading to the emergence of infant jaundice. Thankfully, the bilirubin lights found in NICU centers disintegrate the excess compound, thus protecting your child from jaundice and related illnesses.
Most of all, preterm neonates spend their time in incubators. The machines then keep them warm until they are old enough to leave the plastic bassinets. Parents can afterward take over in their care and protection.
Regrettably, supportive hospital care is expensive, even to the wealthiest families. For that reason, most people settle for home-based care.
Home Care – When a Child Can Leave the NICU?
Hospitals allow preterm neonates that have completed the 37-week gestation cycle to leave the NICU. On the contrary, babies with severe respiratory problems take longer. Regardless, transitioning from the ICU to a home facility takes effort, energy, and commitment.
Most importantly, parents have to spend hundreds of dollars on medical supplies and treatment. In short, transition care for children with special needs is never easy. However, this is what you must do to initiate changes fast.
1) Invest In Health Coach Services
Parents to preterm neonates suffer a lot of anguish in and out of the hospital. Even worse, their overstretched finances force them to step up as home caregivers on short notice. In consequence, most dispense low-quality services, thus endangering the lives of their babies.
Thankfully, health coaches train you to be a responsible caregiver by equipping you with the best nursing skills. Additionally, the specialists offer you real-time support regardless of the time or the hour. Most of all, health coaches empower you emotionally by cushioning your fears and concerns.
2) Identify a Pediatrician
A pediatrician will always play a vital role in your child’s life. Bearing the above in mind, you must, therefore, find a child doctor near you. You can then schedule appointments with the doctor based on the treatment plan created by your health coach. Finally, choose a doctor that will come to your rescue in your hour of need.
3) Choose the Right Medical Approach
Do you want to provide your baby with the best neurodevelopmental treatment? Find a skilled set of hands that can help your child specially if you will decide to go to a Long-term Care Facility.
4) Catalog All Medication
Specialized home care is hard for untrained hands. Keeping that in mind, you should catalog all medication to avoid confusion. More so, adhere to the doctor’s instructions on drug administration. Again, the option of asking the help of experts at a Long-Term Care facility will be a good option.
5) Maintain Hygiene
Preterm neonates run a high chance of contracting a disease. Worse yet, such babies are prone to a myriad of respiratory complications. For that reason, you must keep smokers away. Moreover, maintain the highest standards of hygiene in your home to avoid dust-related allergies and infection.
6) Update the Immunization Schedule
It is good to get your baby immunized. After all, immunization protects us from getting sick. Better yet, booster injections prevent death. Therefore, it would help if you updated the baby’s immunization card regularly by visiting a pediatrician.
7) Replenish Medical Supplies
Never allow the medicine cabinet to run out of stock. Instead, replenish drugs and other treatment tools to avoid emergencies. However, compare prices between different suppliers to get the best deal.
Experts recommend that you feed your baby with breast milk and infant formula for four months. More so, they encourage you to clean the feeding bottle to prevent a bacterial pile-up. After that, you can allow the container to dry by exposing it to free-flowing air.
9) Go for Regular Screening
Extreme prematurity affects a child’s rate of growth. That said, you should give your baby at least two years to adjust. You can then take your child to the hospital for screening. However, ensure the tests are standardized enough to guarantee accuracy and consistency. Above all, keep a record of all the administered tests.
10) Enroll in Early Intervention Programs
Most preterm neonates return to normalcy after completion of the pregnancy cycle. However, the unlucky few suffer life-long disabilities, conditions that need after-care. With that in mind, you should enroll your child into an early intervention program. After all, rehabilitation helps the child develop physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Most pregnant women are always optimistic about completing their gestation cycle. Unfortunately, terminal illnesses, drug abuse, cervical/uterine disorders, and more force them to give birth in less than twenty-eight weeks. As a result, infants born at such a stage suffer a series of respiratory and mental health complications.
Neonatal death then becomes a reality where early intervention is lacking. Luckily, scientists around the world have been fighting long and hard to end infant death. Surprisingly, they have made significant strides, all thanks to supportive hospitals’ care.
Cambridge Medical & Rehabilitation Center is the specialized provider for Long-term Care and rehabilitation services in the United Arab Emirates. With 2 main facilities in Abu Dhabi & Al Ain, which are designed in a hospital setup with a capacity of 90 beds each.
Cambridge provides an interdisciplinary clinical approach for Pediatric Rehabilitation. The best rehabilitation services are not only our goal but our ultimate objective is to customize the care plan for each patient and make sure that the patient’s family and their members are integrated into the treatment plan.
Either you joined Abu Dhabi hospital or Al Ain hospital for any kind of our rehabilitation services or even for long-term care you will feel as if you are at #Your Second Home.