Premature baby birth is one of the childbirth that occurs before 37 weeks (or 259 days) of gestational age. This baby birth is called an abnormal childbirth; it can be seen from gestational age side, because it is faster than a normal time. Premature baby birth is a big problem because the weight of baby that is born is under of the normal baby’s weight (over 2.7 kg) and also premature baby is still not old enough so that the vital equipment is not perfect yet. As a result there will be various problems and difficulties to grow and develop properly.
Premature baby birth is one of the main causes of neonatal death. The likelihood of premature birth is about 70% of all live births, and approximately 75% of neonatal deaths come from case of babies born prematurely. The cause is presumably related to the influence of economic factors because premature baby birth is generally more common in people with low income groups.
According to the world data, premature birth reached 75-80% of all babies who died at the age of less than 28 days.
Some of the causes of premature baby birth:
- The most caused factor is the bacterial infection in the vagina (bacterial vaginosisi). Note also the complaint of whitish and other genital infections. Also, look at the possibility of infection of periodontal (gum and teeth), infection of the respiratory tract, digestive and reproductive tract infections.
- Maternal age less than 15 years or more than 35 years.
- Mother is fatigue and stress during pregnancy.
- Mothers who smoke or are exposed to cigarette smoke during pregnancy.
- Pregnant women who experience anemia during pregnancy are also at risk of premature baby birth.
- There are twin fetuses in the womb.
- Abnormality of the uterus, abnormality of placental position, which is on the path of birth, premature rupture of membranes, trauma of uterus etc.
- Racial factors. Skin color is more high-risk to birth a premature baby
- Poor nutritional status of pregnant women.
Health problems are usually experienced by premature baby:
- ApneaPremature baby often stop breathing for a moment. This is called apnea. Apnea is often found, especially when the pregnancy is under the age of 34 weeks. It is caused by not mature organs, especially the lungs. Premature baby get more a risk of respiratory failure.
The doctor will give resuscitation (attempt to breathe again with artificial respiration or cardiac massage and excitatory) and install equipment of heart monitor until the age of the baby is equivalent to the age of 34 weeks in the womb. Most babies breathe again, just gently pat his leg.
- Brain disordersIf the failed breath is handled too late, it is quite possible for the baby to suffer a more serious disorder. For example, the brain damage which is a vital organ.
- Emergency Breath Syndrome (Respiratory Distress Syndrome / RDS)The babies that are very small (born under 28 weeks of pregnancy) have not been enough surfactant, a substance important for maintaining the lung so as not to be furl. The lung which furls or collapses cannot arrest oxygen. The condition of surfactant deficiency can lead to hyaline membrane disease or respiratory distress syndrome (failure to breathe). During the breathing of premature baby is not normal yet, the baby will get the help of oxygen. It means that the baby will be treated in a special place; it is The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
- Blood vessels do not closeBefore birth there is blood vessels used for baby to breath. Blood vessels are supposed to close by itself once the baby is born. However, due to premature birth, it could be a blood vessel remains open, causing a series of problems.
- Not yet fully functional of gastrointestinal tractThe immature digestive tract also will occur an impact on premature babies. Beside that, sucking reflex and swallowing ability are not yet functioning properly. Breast milk can be given through a plastic pipette when the baby is not strong yet to suck directly from the breast. After birth, the baby should not be fasted too long. Ideally about the first 24 to 72 hours the baby has been got extra nutrients. If necessary, take the advantage of fluid infusion.
- YellowLiver function which is not maximized yet can cause the accumulating of hemoglobin, because it is unable to be processed. As a result, baby becomes yellow.
- InfectionIf the normal baby only have endurance at relatively low, morover the premature baby. One of the problems that may easily arise is getting infection.
Premature Baby Care:
- Care in the IncubatorIncubator serves to maintain the body temperature of premature baby is still stable, remember that the system of the baby’s body regulation is not perfect yet, it can go down drastically and endanger the baby’s health.
- Prevention of infectionIs one of the premature baby care, remember that the baby is easily infected with bacteria and germs, which can be fatal.
- Get an enough breastmilkBreast milk is a major source of nutrients that are needed while a care of premature baby, because the nutritional composition appropriate with the needs of the baby’s body. Make sure that the baby is taking breast milk based on his needs. Before the baby can suck it right, breastfeeding is done by using a sonde or a pipette.
- The touch of skinDuring the baby was placed in an incubator does not mean that the realtion with the mother disscontected. Mothers should continue to give a touch to the baby. The research show that premature babies who get lots of touches show the increasing of weight rapidly than those who rarely touched.
- Kangaroo methode care (KMC)KMC method is the choice treatment in premature baby that is easy and cheap. Skin contact between premature baby with his mother carried out intensively, inspired from the way of the kangaroo mother care for her baby in the bag attached to his body.