¿Qué pasará con mi bebé si nace prematuro?

What will happen to my baby if he is born premature?

What will happen to my baby if he is born premature?

What will happen to my baby if he is born premature?

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If you give birth to a premature baby, he may need extra help feeding and adjusting immediately after delivery. Depending on his gestational age , his birth weight and how his respiratory and cardiac adaptation is, your baby may need a longer hospital stay in a special newborn unit.

It all depends on how much respiratory (mechanical ventilation to help him breathe) and circulatory (fluids and medications to help the heart function) care your baby needs, to be hospitalized in an intermediate care nursery or intensive care unit. neonatal intensive care.

Neonatologists and a specialized team trained in the care of premature babies will be in charge of your baby's care.


Bullet Never hesitate to ask questions and clarify all the doubts that arise during this process Bullet


What complications can occur if my baby is born premature?

Although not all premature babies have complications, each case must be analyzed separately, but we can say in general terms that early birth can cause short-term and long-term health problems because their organs are not fully prepared to function on their own alone.

In general, the earlier the birth, the lower the baby's weight, and the more breathing aids the baby needs, the higher the risk of complications.

Some problems may manifest at birth while others may develop later.

Short-term complications: During the first weeks, the following may be included:

Respiratory problems. A premature baby may have difficulty breathing, as their respiratory system is immature. If the baby's lungs lack surfactant (a substance that allows the lungs to expand normally), the baby may have respiratory distress syndrome because the lungs cannot expand and contract normally.
Premature babies can also have a lung disorder called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Also, some premature babies have long pauses in breathing, known as apnea.
Heart problems. The most common heart problems premature babies have are patent ductus arteriosus and low blood pressure (hypotension). Patent ductus arteriosus is a persistent opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery. Although this heart defect often closes on its own, if left untreated, it can lead to a heart murmur, heart failure, or other complications. For low blood pressure, IV fluids, medications, and sometimes blood transfusions may need to be adjusted .
Brain problems. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk of bleeding in the brain, known as intraventricular hemorrhage. Most bleeds are minor and resolve with few short-term effects. However, some babies may have increased brain bleeding that causes permanent brain damage.
blood problems Premature babies are at risk for blood problems such as anemia (lack of red blood cells) and newborn jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
Anemia is a common condition that occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells. While all newborns experience a slow decline in red blood cells during the first month of life, the decline may be greater in premature babies .
Newborn jaundice is a color change in the baby's skin and eyes, which turn yellow, and occurs because the blood contains too much bilirubin, a yellow substance from the liver or red blood cells. Although jaundice has many causes, it is more common in premature babies.
Temperature control problems . Premature babies can lose heat quickly. They don't have the same stored body fat as a full-term baby, and they can't generate enough heat to offset what's lost through the body surface. If the body temperature drops too low, the core temperature can be lower than normal, which is known as hypothermia.
Hypothermia in a premature baby can lead to breathing problems and low blood glucose levels.
Also, a premature baby often uses all the energy he gets from feeding just to maintain temperature. For this reason, the smallest premature babies need additional warmth from a warmer or incubator until they are older and can maintain their body temperature without help , this includes being carried skin-to-skin on the parents' chest when they can get out from the hospital and go home to continue your care in a “Kangaroo Program”
Gastrointestinal disorders. Premature babies are more likely to have an immature gastrointestinal system, leading to complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis . This disease, which can be serious and in which the cells that line the wall of the intestine are damaged, can appear in premature babies after they begin to feed mainly when they receive formula milk. Premature babies who only receive breast milk have a much lower risk of developing it.
metabolic problems. Premature babies often have metabolism problems. Some premature babies may have an abnormally low blood glucose level (hypoglycemia). This may occur because they generally have lower glucose stores than full-term babies.


Long-term complications: In the long term, premature birth can cause complications, which is why it is essential that the premature baby receives special care, in a program that is different from the normal health control or high-risk follow-up, where there is a team of professionals specialized in monitoring not only their growth, but especially their neurodevelopment to detect and intervene early in any difficulty. Some of the difficulties that should be detected early are:

Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture that can be caused by infection, inadequate blood flow, or injury to the developing brain of a newborn early in pregnancy or when the baby is small and immature.

Difficulties in learning. At several key developmental milestones, premature babies are more likely to be delayed than full-term babies. At school age, a child who was born prematurely will be more likely to have learning problems.

Vision problems. Premature babies can get retinopathy of prematurity, a condition that occurs when blood vessels swell and overgrow in the layer of light-sensitive nerves at the back of the eye (retina). Sometimes the abnormal vessels gradually scar the retina and push it out of place. When the retina shifts from the back of the eye, it is called a "retinal detachment," a condition that, if undetected, can impair vision and lead to blindness . To detect this complication in time, it is necessary for the baby to be evaluated by a pediatric ophthalmologist, ideally a retina specialist.

Hearing problems. Premature babies are at increased risk for some degree of hearing loss. All babies have their hearing checked before they are discharged from the hospital or before they reach 3 weeks corrected age, that is, after they reach 40 weeks, which is the due date .

dental problems . Premature babies who have been seriously ill are at increased risk for dental problems, such as delayed teething, tooth discoloration, and tooth misalignment.

Psychological and behavioral problems. Babies born prematurely are more likely than full-term babies to have certain psychological or behavioral problems, as well as developmental delays.

Chronic health problems. Premature babies are more likely to have chronic health problems (some of which require hospital care) than full-term babies. Infections, asthma, and feeding problems are more likely to develop or persist.


Premature babies are also at increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Find this and more useful information in the Tool-be Guide Book, available in the Toolbox Starter Box
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