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What You Should Know About Premature Labor, Babies, and Birth

Baby In Ventilator

Premature labor is also known as “preterm labor”. It is when your body begins to get ready for childbirth too early during pregnancy. Labour is said to be premature if it begins more than 3 weeks before your due birth date.

Indicators of Premature Labor

It might be possible to stop a premature birth by being informed about the warning symptoms and signs of premature labor and by looking for care early in case these symptoms show up.

Warning indicators for premature labor include the following:

  • Uterine contractions happening 6 or more times in an hour, even if no other warning sign shows up.
  • Feeling of menstrual-like cramps around the lower abdomen which might come and go or might be constant.
  • Dull backache below the waistline which might come or go or may be constant.
  • Abdominal cramping

The Basics About Premature Birth

About 1 in every 10 newborns is born too early in the United States. That is about 385,000 newborns. “Whenever a baby has had less time to form properly in the womb, it becomes more likely for him or her to be born with one or more problems,” says Dorothy Hills, M.D., clinical neonatologist, Palm Beach. “That is because several organs, including the lungs, liver, and brain, are still developing in the last weeks of pregnancy” he added.

Problems could range from minor to critical and might include feeding and breathing issues, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, hearing, and vision problems.

A full-time Pregnancy Stays for 40 Weeks

Any childbirth before 37 weeks is said to be premature. The later in the pregnancy your baby is born, the better the outcome in the nearest future.

Premature birth sub-divisions are based on how old the pregnancy is, measured with the help of weeks. Starting from the day of your last menstrual cycle to the present date.

  • Extremely premature birth is before 28 weeks
  • Very preterm is 28 weeks to before 32 weeks
  • Late or moderate preterm is 32 weeks to before 38 weeks

Most preterm facilities happen when a baby is born before 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Factors that Increase the Risk of Premature Birth

Some of the factors responsible for premature birth include:

  • Having experienced premature birth before
  • Being pregnant with multiples
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol or using tobacco
  • Having certain abnormalities in your reproductive organ such as a short cervix

How Premature Babies Look

How your preterm baby’s body appears depends a lot on how premature she is.

If your baby is born at 35-37 weeks of gestation, she will most likely look like a mature baby.

As a newborn’s gestational age reduces, her size and weight also reduce.

Extremely preterm newborns – for instance, those born at 23 weeks of gestation – would be quite small and may fit snugly in your hand. They may look tired and have translucent, fragile skin. Their eyes may still be fused shut.

As these tiny newborns grow, parents can monitor the developmental transformations in their newborn’s movement, appearance, and ability to interact with the universe.

Final Remark

As an aspiring parent, it is essential you know all about premature labor, birth, and babies. This way you would be able to know how to prevent such pregnancy conditions.