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Complications of premature birth

Introduction

Normal pregnancy lasts between 38 to 42 weeks. If a baby is born at least three weeks before the defined period the birth is classified as premature. All problems and complications these babies may suffer from are basically related to immature and incomplete intrauterine development. They are susceptible to variety of infection and their health generally endangered.

All the pregnant women need to know how to recognize the symptoms and signs of the premature birth as this way they can get to the hospital on time where doctor can stop the birth and provide with additional days of pregnancy in which the baby will develop more. These symptoms and signs include pain in lumbar area, pain in pelvis, bleeding from vagina and watery vaginal discharge which is actually amniotic fluid which occurs after the amnion ruptures.

Complications of Premature Birth

Complication Risks for Mothers

There is not much difference between the on time delivery and premature birth for mothers. Still the complications can develop from the medications that are administered to mothers in order to prevent the premature birth. Some drugs can lead to fluid collection in pleura. This can lead to shortness of breath as the lungs cannot properly expand in the process of inspiration. Additional side effects of the medications that are given to future mothers include exhaustion and weakness of muscles, increased heart rate and abnormal sugar levels in blood. In rather rare cases a mother can complain about headache, nausea and vertigo. 

Complication Risks for Premature Babies

The risk is higher in babies who are born earlier comparing to those who are near the normal term. Sometimes even babies who have been born after 23 weeks of intrauterine growth can survive.

The major problem is that these babies do not posses sufficient amounts of pulmonary surfactant which is a substance present in the lungs that help the baby in breathing. Premature babies are more prone to apnea and others difficulties with breathing than full term babies.

Premature babies are additionally more susceptible to intracranial bleeding. They can even suffer from hydrocephalus which is an excessive collection of fluid in the brain.

A variety of neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy affects premature babies more than full term babies. They can also suffer from problems with vision and hearing.

The digestive system of these babies is not developed to full extent and the feeding is difficult. Apart from that their muscles are week and the breastfeeding is therefore impeded.

Anemia and jaundice are two more complications that affect pre-term babies.

And finally, these children can suffer from developmental delays and learning disabilities later in life.

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