Why Are Babies Born Premature?

Have you asked the following question by now: “Why are babies born premature?” If you are like all the future mothers – concerned for their pregnancy and their baby`s health – then you most definitely have.

Why Are Babies Born Premature

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful moments through which a woman can pass in a lifetime. However, she always needs to be informed about the possible complications that may appear.

During pregnancy, there may be various complications and one of these is premature birth (preterm birth). This may cause serious problems to both the mother and the child.

What Is a Premature Baby?

Most pregnancies end around 40 weeks, a few weeks earlier (most often) or a few days later (rarely). By definition, a premature baby is born weeks earlier than the established term, the fetus having little chances to develop completely. Although the rate of babies born prematurely increases, the good news is that a healthy lifestyle may prevent a pregnancy to end earlier.

One out of 10 babies is born prematurely worldwide. The mortality among premature babies in the United States is of around 35%. This risk is inversely proportional to the number of pregnancy weeks. Premature babies can only be saved large medical clinics with modern neonatal intensive care, but only just 50% of the babies born at 26 weeks survive.

Because babies born prematurely have problems after birth more often than babies born on term, the doctors will try to delay the preterm birth as much as possible.

Why Are Babies Born Premature?

The causes of preterm birth are many, both medical and social-economical. However, in 30% of all cases of premature birth, the cause is unknown.

Medical Causes

  • Acute conditions (viral or bacterial infections) during the third trimester of pregnancy might trigger preterm birth.
  • Excess of amniotic liquid (polyhydramnios).
  • Placenta praevia or placenta abruption.
  • Multiple pregnancy causes excessive uterine distension.
  • Previous multiple pregnancies.
  • Cervical or uterine abnormalities – congenital or acquired.
  • Personal history of repeated abortions, miscarriage or preterm births.
  • Genital bleeding.
  • Weight issues regarding the mother – underweight or overweight.
  • Traumas or surgery during pregnancy.
  • Rh system incompatibility between the mother and fetus imposes premature triggering of birth.
  • Preeclampsia.

Social-Economical Causes

Premature birth frequently occurs in single women with ages of less than 28 years or over 40 years. It also occurs in women who smoke, consume drugs or alcohol. Pregnant women who are expecting or make intense physical exercises may also experience preterm birth. All studies show that premature birth is more frequent in women with a low social-economical status.

Domestic violence or stressful events, like losing someone close, may trigger preterm birth as well. A profession with a lot of work hours or intense effort may also increase this risk.

Signs of Preterm Birth

Abnormal uterine contractions may occur anytime between the weeks 20 and 37 of pregnancy. They become more frequent (4 contractions every 20 minutes or 8 per hour), more regular and painful than Braxton-Hicks contractions. Uterine contractions aren`t always painful; it`s more important their frequency for a diagnosis of premature birth. If you feel uterine contractions, you need to sit down, relax, and if they persist, call your gynecologist.

Prompt recognition of premature labor may help prevent preterm birth. Here are a few symptoms that may predict it:

  • Menstrual-like cramps.
  • Slight back pain.
  • Intestinal cramps or diarrhea.
  • Pelvic pressure or pain.
  • Headache, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations.
  • Watery vaginal discharges.
  • Vaginal bleeding.

Complications of Premature Birth

The baby born prematurely has all the immature functions and the organs are incompletely developed:

  • The liver is immature, explaining the high frequency of jaundice.
  • The digestive system is immature: the premature baby needs to be fed through the gastric tube since he cannot be breastfed due to lack of sucking and swallowing reflexes.
  • Small birth weight (less than 2,500g).
  • The immune system is immature, explaining the frequency and severity of infections.
  • Thermoregulation is immature: he`s sensitive to heat or cold, so he must be placed in an incubator.
  • Delay in psycho-motor-acquisition (neurological or vision issues).

During the first few days of the baby`s life there are 3 major dangers that threatens prematurity: respiratory distress, intracranial haemorrhage and infections. In most causes of preterm birth, the mother doesn`t remain with sequelae. On the other hand, you should know that in 5% – 10% of cases, there the risk of brain, heart or kidney damage. Depending on the treatment, there`s also a risk of:

  • Pulmonary congestion.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Blood sugar abnormalities.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

When Should my Baby Be Born Prematurely?

For medical reasons, sometimes the baby needs to be born prematurely. In such a case, labor will be induced or C-section will be required. Around 1/5 of premature births happen due to such reasons.

The doctor will decide on preterm birth if:

  • The baby doesn`t develop as he should.
  • He has a malformation.

Or if you:

  • Have a medical condition which makes it safer for the baby to be born now.
  • Has suffered an abdominal trauma.
  • Have preeclampsia.

When You Should Go to the Doctor?

If you experience signs of preterm labor, such as watery vaginal discharges or irregular contractions that occur more than 8 times in 1 hour, contact the doctor who supervises your pregnancy or visit the nearest hospital. Our advice is that during pregnancy to keep all phone number for emergency situations close to you, so that you can find them quickly. If the doctor has decided that you present an increased risk of premature birth, he`ll recommend frequent visits to the clinic.

How to Prevent Preterm Birth?

Some tips may be useful when wanting to prevent preterm birth.

  • Drink around 250 ml of water or juice made of fruits every couple of hours so you can prevent dehydration.
  • Adopt a healthy and well balanced diet. Also make sure your weight will always be somewhere between 11 and 16 kg throughout the 9 months.
  • Always wipe from front to back after urinating, so you can prevent tract infections.
  • Urinate regularly so you can always keep your bladder empty and be less prone to urinary tract infections. This way you`ll avoid any risk of premature contractions.
  • Wear cotton panties – they “breathe” better than other materials and you`ll manage to inhibit the development of bacteria.
  • Give up smoking and consumption of coffee, drugs or alcohol.
  • Use condoms when having sexual contacts.
  • Avoid having too many sexual partners.
  • Avoid or at least reduce stress.

Treatment for the Mother

The treatment usually depends on the pregnancy stage as well as how much labor has progressed. The doctor will consider these details and recommend:

  • Rest – Sometimes, resting and drinking a lot of liquids may be enough to stop preterm contractions.
  • Cervical cerclage – If you don`t have any contractions, but your cervix opens, there`s a medical procedure known as cervical cerclage that can help you prevent preterm birth. During this procedure, the cervix is sewn with strong sutures, which can later be removed in the last month of pregnancy. – Learn more!
  • Medication – Some drugs can stop contractions by relaxing the smooth muscles, including the uterus. Other drugs stop the production of substances which stimulate uterine contractions. These medications can be administered intravenously or by injection. Unfortunately, they often stop contractions only for a brief period of time, often enough to accomplish other goals, like transferring the baby to a hospital that is well equipped.
  • Steriod injection – Such an infection is used to mature the lungs of the baby. If the woman is between weeks 23 and 24, the doctor may recommend a steroid injection to accelerate the development of the fetal pulmonary function. After week 34, steroids aren`t required anymore, because the lung development of the fetus is a lot more advanced.

Treatment for the Baby

Each maternity is equipped with neonatal intensive care units, which are designed to offer permanent care to premature babies.

Specialized care for the baby might include:

  • Placement in an incubator – in the neonatal intensive care unit, your baby will probably be placed into an incubator – a small plastic basket, heated electrically to help the baby maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Monitoring the vital signs of the baby – The device`s sensors will monitor blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and baby breathing. The medical personnel may also use ventilators to help the baby breath. This equipment might seem depressing for the mother at first, but all this was actually designed to help the baby pass this hard stage of his life.
  • A feeding tube – At the beginning, the baby may receive liquids and nutrients through an intravenous tube. Breast milk can also be given through a tube passed through the nose of the baby which goes all the way to his stomach. When the baby will be strong enough to suck on his own, you can breastfeed him on your own. The antibodies in the breast milk are essential for premature babies.

The doctors and nurses will offer special recommendations of how to take care the baby when he`s ready to go home. Keep in mind that babies born prematurely are more sensitive than those born at term. They may present serious infections, and their diseases tend to develop faster. When you return to the medical clinic, don`t hesitate to ask the doctor all the necessary questions for your baby`s health.

Image courtesy of newkidscenter.com

Show Comments

780 Comments

  1. MonteSlova May 3, 2022
  2. bocapiuy May 18, 2022
  3. yzezytmz May 18, 2022
  4. xoavhvah May 18, 2022
  5. obgtlqeb May 19, 2022
  6. pgxrezxp May 19, 2022
  7. eyonmryl May 20, 2022
  8. gaygojla May 20, 2022
  9. xqflrjwp May 20, 2022
  10. xivolfcd May 21, 2022
  11. xiueanwa May 22, 2022
  12. fdqgycdm May 22, 2022
  13. ltuviluj May 22, 2022
  14. pilbzghn May 23, 2022
  15. llgkouvr May 24, 2022
  16. pdaiktvk May 27, 2022
  17. roryqmqm May 31, 2022
  18. ptmwolst June 3, 2022
  19. RalphLep June 5, 2022
  20. ChesterDyesy June 6, 2022
  21. IverDarm June 6, 2022
  22. hsucepkm June 7, 2022
  23. Stromvar June 8, 2022
  24. Thomastic June 11, 2022
  25. Thomastic June 12, 2022
  26. oskftskv June 14, 2022
  27. dmxqovpl June 18, 2022
  28. kzricmff June 22, 2022
  29. Shelbyhep June 22, 2022
  30. Ramon Geisinger June 23, 2022
  31. Dygcli June 26, 2022
  32. Edwardnen June 27, 2022
  33. Isiahchine June 30, 2022
  34. GeorgePaf July 1, 2022
  35. Isiahchine July 1, 2022
  36. Isiahchine July 3, 2022
  37. GeorgePaf July 4, 2022
  38. Isiahchine July 4, 2022
  39. Isiahchine July 6, 2022
  40. AurlieElEt July 8, 2022
  41. DarrellHycle July 8, 2022
  42. DarrellHycle July 10, 2022
  43. DavidBosse July 10, 2022
  44. DarrellHycle July 11, 2022
  45. ShaynaElEt July 14, 2022
  46. JamesWob July 15, 2022
  47. JoeteElEt July 15, 2022
  48. ArthurPax July 17, 2022
  49. JoeteElEt July 18, 2022
  50. ArthurPax July 19, 2022
  51. RichardVialo July 19, 2022
  52. ChandaElEt July 20, 2022
  53. ArthurPax July 20, 2022
  54. AvivaElEt July 21, 2022
  55. DortheaElEt July 22, 2022
  56. VerieeElEt July 22, 2022
  57. GeorgeAbsem July 23, 2022
  58. GlynnisElEt July 23, 2022
  59. SuzannElEt July 24, 2022
  60. Earnestgom July 24, 2022
  61. SalliElEt July 24, 2022
  62. GeorgeAbsem July 25, 2022
  63. DarsieElEt July 25, 2022
  64. TandiElEt July 26, 2022
  65. MabelleElEt July 26, 2022
  66. GeorgeAbsem July 26, 2022
  67. JenneeElEt July 27, 2022
  68. TandiElEt July 27, 2022
  69. Earnestgom July 28, 2022
  70. GeorgeAbsem July 28, 2022
  71. HerminaElEt July 28, 2022
  72. AbagaelElEt July 28, 2022
  73. AudreElEt July 29, 2022
  74. ShaylaElEt July 29, 2022
  75. HestiaElEt July 30, 2022
  76. VerenaElEt July 30, 2022
  77. CareyVanny July 30, 2022
  78. DixieElEt July 31, 2022
  79. LaureenElEt August 1, 2022
  80. JamesCal August 1, 2022
  81. FranniElEt August 2, 2022
  82. PearlElEt August 3, 2022
  83. BobbieElEt August 4, 2022
  84. Davidsip August 4, 2022
  85. LeslieElEt August 5, 2022
  86. Davidsip August 6, 2022
  87. HonorElEt August 7, 2022
  88. Davidsip August 8, 2022
  89. TrudieElEt August 8, 2022
  90. TeddieElEt August 8, 2022
  91. JaynellElEt August 9, 2022
  92. Davidsip August 9, 2022
  93. JenneeElEt August 10, 2022
  94. DulceaElEt August 10, 2022
  95. JenneeElEt August 10, 2022
  96. Davidsip August 11, 2022
  97. CarolanElEt August 11, 2022
  98. AshleighElEt August 11, 2022
  99. FanyaElEt August 12, 2022
  100. KelseyElEt August 12, 2022
  101. Davidsip August 12, 2022
  102. LaurellaElEt August 13, 2022
  103. CarolinElEt August 13, 2022
  104. DavidCeK August 14, 2022
  105. Davidsip August 14, 2022
  106. SheelaghElEt August 15, 2022
  107. SheelaghElEt August 15, 2022
  108. FifineElEt August 16, 2022
  109. buy online cialis August 16, 2022
  110. GwenoreElEt August 17, 2022
  111. Deshawnreeni August 18, 2022
  112. Deshawnreeni August 20, 2022
  113. incuchrib August 21, 2022
  114. cialis generic best price August 21, 2022
  115. Adrianfum August 22, 2022
  116. MP August 22, 2022
  117. GladiElEt August 23, 2022
  118. Adrianfum August 24, 2022
  119. JeraleeElEt August 24, 2022
  120. KyrstinElEt August 25, 2022
  121. JoannElEt August 25, 2022
  122. Adrianfum August 26, 2022
  123. BertheElEt August 26, 2022
  124. KaitlynnElEt August 27, 2022
  125. Henryunfog August 28, 2022
  126. GladiElEt August 28, 2022
  127. DavinaElEt August 28, 2022
  128. JeraleeElEt August 28, 2022
  129. ChelsaeElEt August 29, 2022
  130. KyrstinElEt August 29, 2022
  131. Henryunfog August 29, 2022
  132. EmaliaElEt August 30, 2022
  133. CasandraElEt August 30, 2022
  134. KarryElEt August 31, 2022
  135. Henryunfog August 31, 2022
  136. AmataElEt August 31, 2022
  137. Clalsekew August 31, 2022
  138. GennieElEt September 2, 2022
  139. elirway September 2, 2022
  140. DeeynElEt September 2, 2022
  141. Chooggued September 3, 2022
  142. EmaleeElEt September 3, 2022
  143. JosephTic September 4, 2022
  144. StephineElEt September 4, 2022
  145. lubrept September 4, 2022
  146. Duemill September 5, 2022
  147. JosephTic September 5, 2022
  148. Wotlayelt September 6, 2022
  149. zesserb September 7, 2022
  150. RobenaElEt September 7, 2022
  151. Josephson September 7, 2022
  152. LoreenElEt September 8, 2022
  153. HildeElEt September 8, 2022
  154. eagetry September 8, 2022
  155. Josephson September 9, 2022
  156. TallouElEt September 9, 2022
  157. plalePasy September 10, 2022
  158. MarilinElEt September 10, 2022
  159. Josephson September 11, 2022
  160. attaive September 11, 2022
  161. AdoreeElEt September 11, 2022
  162. MindyElEt September 12, 2022
  163. Kneense September 13, 2022
  164. ivermectin 3mg otc September 13, 2022
  165. DavidBoist September 14, 2022
  166. hapseva September 14, 2022
  167. MavisElEt September 15, 2022
  168. MichaelTox September 15, 2022
  169. JuanitaElEt September 16, 2022
  170. Scuctut September 16, 2022
  171. MichaelTox September 17, 2022
  172. MaisieElEt September 17, 2022
  173. Wayhoff September 18, 2022
  174. EachelleElEt September 18, 2022
  175. Hillcak September 18, 2022
  176. JoeteElEt September 19, 2022
  177. MarrisElEt September 19, 2022
  178. MichaelElini September 20, 2022
  179. DorolisaElEt September 20, 2022
  180. Charlesdap September 20, 2022
  181. JasonFeank September 21, 2022
  182. MartyElEt September 21, 2022
  183. MerolaElEt September 22, 2022
  184. MichaelElini September 22, 2022
  185. AshlenElEt September 23, 2022
  186. CharitaElEt September 24, 2022
  187. JasonFeank September 24, 2022
  188. MichaelElini September 24, 2022
  189. CharitaElEt September 24, 2022
  190. NaniceElEt September 25, 2022
  191. JasonFeank September 25, 2022
  192. order stromectol 6mg September 25, 2022
  193. MichaelElini September 25, 2022
  194. ChelsaeElEt September 26, 2022
  195. PennyElEt September 27, 2022
  196. JasonFeank September 27, 2022
  197. MichaelElini September 27, 2022
  198. TammieElEt September 28, 2022
  199. AntonieElEt September 28, 2022
  200. RhiamonElEt September 29, 2022
  201. CharoElEt September 30, 2022
  202. BrianSoype September 30, 2022
  203. DronaElEt October 1, 2022
  204. wwwi.odnoklassniki-film.ru October 1, 2022
  205. Richardalova October 1, 2022
  206. Albertkem October 1, 2022
  207. TwylaElEt October 2, 2022
  208. BrianSoype October 2, 2022
  209. LeilahElEt October 2, 2022
  210. Albertkem October 3, 2022
  211. Michaeldrync October 3, 2022
  212. LeroyDyeks October 3, 2022
  213. RobertTiz October 3, 2022
  214. CthrineElEt October 3, 2022
  215. hydroxychloroquine 200 mg October 4, 2022
  216. RickyNiB October 4, 2022
  217. GinnieElEt October 4, 2022
  218. hydroxychloroquine tablets October 5, 2022
  219. GinnieElEt October 6, 2022
  220. tuplilt October 7, 2022
  221. GinnieElEt October 7, 2022
  222. Normansuh October 8, 2022
  223. Normansuh October 9, 2022
  224. poollaRic October 9, 2022
  225. TommyEvoda October 9, 2022
  226. VivieneElEt October 10, 2022
  227. Normansuh October 10, 2022
  228. Normansuh October 11, 2022
  229. hydroxychloroquine cost October 12, 2022
  230. Normansuh October 12, 2022
  231. neelery October 12, 2022
  232. EasterElEt October 13, 2022
  233. NuaneSab October 13, 2022
  234. Shelbyces October 14, 2022
  235. Edgeste October 15, 2022
  236. Hillcak October 15, 2022
  237. Shelbyces October 15, 2022
  238. TravisMup October 17, 2022
  239. FrancisNob October 17, 2022
  240. TravisMup October 18, 2022
  241. clitisk October 19, 2022
  242. TravisMup October 20, 2022
  243. TravisMup October 22, 2022
  244. Uttept October 22, 2022
  245. Suerit October 23, 2022
  246. RobertMem October 23, 2022
  247. MichaelCRAKY October 23, 2022
  248. Kimrit October 23, 2022
  249. Enjoype October 24, 2022
  250. LloydWindy October 24, 2022
  251. MichaelCRAKY October 24, 2022
  252. RobertMem October 24, 2022
  253. Wimrit October 25, 2022
  254. rocket league car hitboxes October 25, 2022
  255. Suerit October 30, 2022
  256. Janerit October 30, 2022
  257. Tedrit October 30, 2022
  258. Jackrit October 30, 2022
  259. Kiarit October 30, 2022
  260. Suerit October 30, 2022
  261. Yonrit October 30, 2022
  262. Wimrit October 31, 2022
  263. Wimrit October 31, 2022
  264. Denrit October 31, 2022
  265. SteveNuage October 31, 2022
  266. MiclQuept October 31, 2022
  267. Kiarit October 31, 2022
  268. Paulrit October 31, 2022
  269. DavidSob October 31, 2022
  270. Kimrit November 1, 2022
  271. CharlesPebra November 1, 2022
  272. Suerit November 1, 2022
  273. Carlrit November 1, 2022
  274. Jackrit November 1, 2022
  275. Denrit November 1, 2022
  276. Judyrit November 1, 2022
  277. Paulrit November 1, 2022
  278. Charlesgrort November 1, 2022
  279. Elwoodnow November 2, 2022
  280. EdgarPaync November 2, 2022
  281. Nickrit November 2, 2022
  282. Carlrit November 2, 2022
  283. EdgarPaync November 2, 2022
  284. Teorit November 2, 2022
  285. RodneyBip November 3, 2022
  286. Teorit November 3, 2022
  287. Tedrit November 4, 2022
  288. Carlrit November 4, 2022
  289. Jimrit November 4, 2022
  290. cheap essay writing services November 4, 2022
  291. MarvinInsog November 4, 2022
  292. argumentative essay November 4, 2022
  293. Elwoodnow November 5, 2022
  294. Jasonrit November 5, 2022
  295. Jimrit November 5, 2022
  296. ridy27 November 5, 2022
  297. Amyrit November 6, 2022
  298. Ugorit November 6, 2022
  299. Denrit November 6, 2022
  300. Lisarit November 6, 2022
  301. Elwoodnow November 6, 2022
  302. Jimrit November 6, 2022
  303. Nickrit November 6, 2022
  304. driency November 7, 2022
  305. canadian pharmacy November 7, 2022
  306. Josephnug November 7, 2022
  307. Brandonkib November 7, 2022
  308. canadian pharmacy November 7, 2022
  309. Cruz November 7, 2022
  310. Michaelzef November 7, 2022
  311. izqeik November 8, 2022
  312. Amyrit November 8, 2022
  313. Leia November 8, 2022
  314. Suerit November 8, 2022
  315. KeithKEk November 8, 2022
  316. canada drug November 8, 2022
  317. Michaelbix November 8, 2022
  318. vxqccl November 8, 2022
  319. MiclQuept November 8, 2022
  320. Renaldobib November 8, 2022
  321. Jackrit November 8, 2022
  322. Edittef November 8, 2022
  323. CharlesPebra November 8, 2022
  324. eorigdk November 9, 2022
  325. Danial November 9, 2022
  326. MiclQuept November 9, 2022
  327. mywatv November 9, 2022
  328. Michaelbix November 9, 2022
  329. ThomasSaf November 9, 2022
  330. Michaelvex November 9, 2022
  331. canadian pharmacies November 9, 2022
  332. Elwoodnow November 9, 2022
  333. ifswuv November 10, 2022
  334. Boorit November 10, 2022
  335. Elwoodnow November 10, 2022
  336. DavisInpub November 10, 2022
  337. Wimrit November 10, 2022
  338. Carlrit November 10, 2022
  339. Wimrit November 10, 2022
  340. compound pharmacy November 10, 2022
  341. Teorit November 11, 2022
  342. Miarit November 11, 2022
  343. Jackrit November 11, 2022
  344. Wimrit November 11, 2022
  345. RobertMem November 11, 2022
  346. Lisarit November 11, 2022
  347. kwqkka November 11, 2022
  348. board of pharmacy November 11, 2022
  349. Jerilyn November 11, 2022
  350. Annarit November 11, 2022
  351. Elwoodnow November 11, 2022
  352. CharlesPebra November 11, 2022
  353. feutyo November 11, 2022
  354. canadian pharmacy November 12, 2022
  355. Elwoodnow November 12, 2022
  356. TimothyEmido November 12, 2022
  357. Ashrit November 12, 2022
  358. RodneyBip November 12, 2022
  359. Jackrit November 12, 2022
  360. Judyrit November 13, 2022
  361. nsmkeor November 13, 2022
  362. RodneyBip November 13, 2022
  363. Maryrit November 13, 2022
  364. Kimrit November 13, 2022
  365. pqf55d November 14, 2022
  366. slot November 14, 2022
  367. Slot November 14, 2022
  368. urelucg November 14, 2022
  369. Asseptors November 15, 2022
  370. MarrisElEt November 16, 2022
  371. how to purchase spiriva November 16, 2022
  372. Bifaple November 16, 2022
  373. bhjatu November 17, 2022
  374. bjhvex November 18, 2022
  375. DorolisaElEt November 18, 2022
  376. gdqmgy November 18, 2022
  377. neance November 19, 2022
  378. lopid uk November 19, 2022
  379. roarrop November 20, 2022
  380. MartyElEt November 20, 2022
  381. cialis in canada pkxx November 20, 2022
  382. GeraldCarge November 21, 2022
  383. price prescription drugs yxyd November 21, 2022
  384. MerolaElEt November 21, 2022
  385. Frankoxype November 21, 2022
  386. Steventaund November 21, 2022
  387. plaquenil generic oqb November 22, 2022
  388. KeithFoult November 22, 2022
  389. AshlenElEt November 22, 2022
  390. KarsonDymn November 23, 2022
  391. cialis for sale online sclt November 23, 2022
  392. deelvinia November 23, 2022
  393. purchase cialis online vpbj November 23, 2022
  394. KeithFoult November 24, 2022
  395. CharitaElEt November 24, 2022
  396. NaniceElEt November 25, 2022
  397. kamagra cheap November 25, 2022