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A premature baby is one that is born before 37 weeks of gestation, according to the World Health Organization. It is estimated that 1 in 10 births occur prematurely in the world.
Most preterm births occur spontaneously, when labor begins early, when your water breaks earlier than expected, or when the cervix dilates prematurely without contractions.
A study has recently been published in the New England Journal of Medicine in which it is revealed that there are genes that influence the length of pregnancy and the time of birth. The team of scientists in charge of this study has reached these conclusions after having analyzed the DNA of pregnant women on a massive scale. This can lead to new ways to prevent preterm labor.
Although the exact causes that may lead to premature birth are unknown, if there are factors that may cause a greater risk of it occurring as in the case of multiple pregnancies or if the mother suffers from hypertension, diabetes or an infection.
Stress, drinking alcohol, smoking, or taking other drugs can also trigger premature labor. Age is also a determining factor, since moms under 18 and those over 35 are more likely to have premature birth.
Having symptoms of premature labor does not mean that we are going to have a premature birth, but it is advisable to take them into account and contact our doctor to prevent it.
Six symptoms of being able to have a premature birth:
- Have vaginal bleeding or severe abdominal pain.
- Bloody mucous discharge from the vaginaa, which is called expulsion of the mucous plug.
- Pain in the lower back or pressure in the pelvis.
- Regular and painful contractions that become stronger and more frequent.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Rupture of the amniotic sac, also known as breaking waters, is an unequivocal sign that labor will occur in the next few hours.
In countries with effective means, almost 9 out of 10 children who are born prematurely survive. Most of the problems that premature babies present are related to the immature functioning of their organ systems.
- The premature baby may present respiratory distress syndrome due to lung immaturity.
- Due to the immaturity of the respiratory system, the premature baby may have difficulty breastfeeding due to not having sucking and swallowing reflexes. For this reason they may require to be fed intravenously.
- You are more likely to get infections than a full-term baby.
- Kidney function in the premature baby is also immature.
- You may have problems maintaining your body temperature so you require the use of an incubator.
- They tend to have low birth weight below 2.5 kilos.
- By having high levels of bilirubin in the blood, they present a yellow coloration of the skin, this is what is called jaundice.
These children may suffer from physical, hearing, neurological, or learning disabilities throughout their lives.
You can read more articles similar to Preterm labor: symptoms and consequences, in the category of Delivery on site.