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Caring for a Premature Child



Posted
Dr. Ankur
March 14, 2011

Premature child needs an intensive care to develop properly. There are several things to be organized and managed while taking care of premature kids. There are approximately 11 percent of the babies worldwide that are born premature. It is very critical and serious undertaking for a mother to keep child safe and secure from the risks and complications. They are more susceptible or prone to infections so, keep them safe.

Identification

A premature kid is an infant who is born prior to 37 weeks of proper gestation. The gestation period is counted based on the last menstrual cycle of a mother. It means the first day of the last menstrual cycle till the date the baby is delivered, which approximately is 37 to 40 weeks. This is the ideal gestation period. Thus, the child born prior to it is termed as the premature child.

Considerations

The birth close to gestation period lessens the chances of any complications and risks. So, a premature almost close to full gestation period has all the chances for vigorous and healthy life. The babies born less than 32 weeks require intensive care and may remain hospitalized for weeks.

Risk factors

Women exhibiting particular behaviors are at risk for giving birth to a premature child. These factors are smoking, drinking alcohol and stress. Stress is one of the major causes, which increases the chances of voiding out naturally before time. Few medical conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes in mother also enhance the probability of a premature delivery. Another risk factor is age, certain age group women such as below 17 and above 35 are at high risk for giving birth to a premature child.

Complications

Babies born prior to the gestation period tends to have some complications such as breathing problem, fluid accumulation in brain, jaundice, anemia, and low blood pressure.

Developments

Sleeping and eating routines - Initially, premature child tends to eat in late night and sleep during the day time. You have to change this routine gradually. To do this change, you have to learn and understand the hunger signs of a child. At preliminary stage, your child will eat less than the average amount of food, but it will grow with the time.

Stages of development – The premature baby goes through the same stages of development as a normal baby undergo. However, the stages will come a bit later as compared to full-term baby development stages. You just need to count the date of your premature baby to determine the age of your child. With this way, you could figure out perfect arrangements for your baby.

Homely Tips

  • Feed your infant timely in several small breaks in order to avoid dehydration.
  • Consult your doctor frequently on the status and condition of your infant.
  • Feed your premature child with a mixture or formula of iron and other vitamin supplements.
  • Practice for laying your infant on its back during sleep at night to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Avoid harsh environment such as smoky, extreme temperature, and other harmful effects. Feeding equipments should be sterilized.
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