Preterm-birth Complications and Neonatal Intensive Care

Birth of a baby at or fewer than 37 weeks of gestation age and are known as preemies or premmies. Though the accurate reason of preterm birth is unknown, some of the risk factors include, diabetes, high blood pressure, being pregnant with more than one baby, vaginal infection, and psychological stress, tobacco smoking, obese or underweight. Babies born before 25 weeks of gestation age do not survive. Even if they do, they do with neural impairment for life. In case of a premature birth, the baby is kept in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) if the baby’s health is critically unstable. If the conditions are somewhat better, the mother is asked to keep the baby warm through skin to skin contact. Breast feeding is a very crucial part for the child’s survival. Since in babies the lungs are the last organs to develop, they are given breathing support. Sometimes surfactants are used help the breathing process. Corticosteroids have also been helpful in maturation of the premature baby. The survival % is highest at 72% at 25 weeks, 55% at 24 weeks, 26% at 23 weeks and about 6% at 22 weeks.

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