July 9, 2013
Too many babies are being born prematurely. Premature babies are born after 20 weeks gestation and before the end of week 37. “Today more than 1,400 babies in the United States (1in 8) will be born prematurely” (“Prematurity Campaign”). It is still unknown as to why so many babies are born prematurely, but there are factors that can put a woman at a higher risk for preterm delivery. These special babies are unlikely able to survive on their own, as their organs are under developed. As a result, preemies tend to be under weight and in need of urgent medical care. Having a premature baby is very emotional and a very scary time for the parents. As a mother of not only one but three preemies I know how extremely difficult and scary having a premature baby can be. Premature babies are extremely difficult to care for because of their complications and special needs.
Pre-term babies are born with a great need for warmth. A preemies number one life saver is an incubator; “an incubator is a clear plastic crib that keeps babies warm and helps protect them from germs and noise” (“Care for the Premature Baby” 2). As I recall the first time I saw my daughter in her incubator I was so scared. She was just so small, born at 32 weeks gestation and only 3lbs 3oz. I was so worried of what was to come for her and what we would have to face, I wondered if she would live and grow to be healthy.
As preemies grow and develop, they can face an increased risk of having one or more complications. Common complications among premature babies include apnea, anemia, and low blood pressure. Apnea is caused by an immaturity in the part of the brain that controls breathing; it can cause a newborn to stop breathing. Anemia is classified as a lack of red blood cells; an adequate number of red blood cells are necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body. Finally, low blood pressure can be caused by many different triggers, but this is easily treated. In the...