Premature babies always require special care and attention after birth, as they are born before they could properly develop. This article will take you through some interesting facts and information that can help you understand about premature babies and their care.
Do you know that the number of premature births is increasing day by day and are not as uncommon as they used to be! As a matter of fact, almost 8 – 10 percent of the pregnancies in the United States end up in premature deliveries. Though the figure may appear to be less, it is still a huge number which is increasing day by day. A premature baby is the one who is born on or before the 37th week. The standard duration of a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks.
While a baby is inside the mother’s womb for these 40 weeks, it develops each and every day until it is finally ready to be born. However, in case of a premature birth, the baby ends up coming into this world before it can completely develop, which is why most of the premature babies end up staying for weeks in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Premature birth is a serious problem, and each and every woman should know about the facts and statistics about premature births to be more and more aware about the situation.
Facts about Premature Births and its Complications
Because of the increase in the number of premature births, the March of Dimes medical director and Senior VP says, “The March of Dimes wants every woman of childbearing age to know that premature birth is a serious problem, and that although the causes of many premature births are unknown, there are some steps that women can take to help them have a healthy baby.” And what is a better step than to educate yourself about the same by going through the following facts.
- 84% of the premature babies are born within 32 – 36 weeks. 10% of them are born between 28 – 31 weeks and the rest 6% premature babies are born in less than 28 weeks of gestation.
- Another shocking fact according to the March of Dimes is that premature birth is the number one cause of death of newborn babies.
- Almost 550,000 premature babies are born each year and they cost 10 times more than the healthier babies.
- You know why premature babies cost more than healthy babies? Because they need special medical attention due to their lack of development which requires medical treatment, at times for the entire lifetime!
- One of the most commonly observed complications of premature birth include cerebral palsy, mental retardation, neurological disabilities, chronic heart and lung disease, vision problems and hearing issues.
- The more early a baby is born, more are the chances for the baby to not survive. According to the 2006 EPICure Study, babies who are born on week 24, have approximately 47% survival rate. On the other hand, babies who are born on week 25, have 20% more chances of survival than the former. As it is, with increase in technology, the survival rate is likely to increase in the future.
- African-American mothers are at the highest risk of giving birth to premature babies.
- Mothers who are younger than 18 years and older than 35 years of age are more prone to premature delivery!
- You would find it weird, but the causes of more than 50% premature births is unknown.
- While most of the premature babies end up recovering and live a normal and healthy life thereafter, there are still approximately 20% chances that the baby might end up being disabled.
Although most of the causes of premature births are unknown, there are certain risk factors that can trigger the chances of an early birth. These factors include smoking, alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy, stressful gestation period, pregnant with multiple babies, ethnicity, periodontal disease, short intervals between pregnancies and so on.
If you are facing some complications during pregnancy, then make sure you consult your doctor as soon as possible. Though there is no particular cause for the condition, it is still important to do all that you can to increase your chances of delivering a healthy baby. Becoming a mother is a joy that accompanies a great deal of responsibilities. So make sure that you do all that you can from the very beginning. Take care.