5 Common Preemie Baby Health Issues

When a woman is pregnant, one thing that everyone hopes for is that she births a healthy baby. When it comes to the doctor or midwife who is treating her, one thing that they especially hope for is that she will go full-term, which is 40 weeks. That’s because when a woman doesn’t go to term, she runs the risk of having a baby that is born prematurely; that would be a child that is born under 37 weeks.Although premature births are not extremely uncommon (there are approximately 500,000 who are born in the United States on an annual basis), there are some health risk that occur when the unborn child does not spend its full time within his/her mother’s womb, especially when it comes to brain and lung development. That’s why medical professionals strive to do all that they can to prevent a premature birth from transpiring.

If you’re curious about what some of the common preemie baby health issues are, we’ve enclosed five of them for you below:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome. This is a breathing disorder than tends to transpire most in infants who are born six weeks or more before their due date. That’s because when a child is born ahead of schedule, they are not always able to develop the liquid known as surfactant which coats the lungs and in turn helps the lungs to open up so that a baby can breathe easily. When that happens, it’s difficult for a child to get enough oxygen into their body in order to support their brain and other organs.Apnea and Bradycardia. The kind of apnea that most people are used to hearing about is sleep apnea. When a person is diagnosed with having apnea, it means that they involuntarily take pauses in between their breathing that usually last more than 15 seconds. That results in a loss of oxygen saturation and oftentimes also a decline in the child’s heart rate.Jaundice. Jaundice is when there is a build-up of blood that has a yellow pigment known as bilirubin. When this happens, it oftentimes affects a child’s eyes and skin (it turns them into a yellowish color). Although normally the liver will naturally remove bilirubin within our system, this is not always the case in a premature birth. Although oftentimes, jaundice will go away on its own without much need for treatment, if they bilirubin levels are high, jaundice could lead to some levels of brain damage.

Heart Murmurs. All newborns need the required amount of time to develop so that their heart can be strong enough to exist with the support of the mom. When this doesn’t happen, sometimes heart murmurs happen. Although adults having heart murmurs is usually not the cause for much alarm, when they transpire at a child’s birth (or the six weeks following it), that is a serious health concern because it means that there’s a huge possibility that there is an abnormal connection between the child’s pumping chambers and blood vessels.Anemia. Another result of premature birth in many babies is anemia. This is the word that is used to describe when an individual is not getting enough red blood cells (which is a good reason to look into cord blood banking at the California Cryobank or one that is closer to where you live). This can lead to symptoms like tiredness, irritability, shortness of breath and swollen hands and feet. In the case of a premature birth, a child is usually checked for anemia (as well as the other mentioned health issues), but if you notice any of these symptoms in your baby, make sure to speak with their health care provider just as soon as possible.

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