¿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 prematurely?

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

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

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


Bullet Never hesitate to ask questions and clarify any doubts that may arise during this process. Bullet


What complications can arise if my baby is born prematurely?

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 and long-term health problems because their organs are not fully prepared to function on their own. alone.

Generally, the more premature the birth, the less weight the baby has, and the more help it needs to breathe, the higher the risk of complications.

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

Short-term complications: During the first weeks these may include:

Respiratory problems. A premature baby may have difficulty breathing, since his or her respiratory system is immature. If the baby's lungs lack surfactant (a substance that allows the lungs to expand normally), the baby may suffer from respiratory distress syndrome, since the lungs cannot expand and contract normally.
Premature babies may also have a lung disorder called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Additionally, some premature babies experience prolonged pauses in breathing, known as apnea.
Heart problems. The most common heart problems that premature babies have are patent ductus arteriosus and low blood pressure (hypotension). The patent ductus arteriosus is a persistent opening found between the aorta artery and the pulmonary artery. While this heart defect often closes on its own, if left untreated, a heart murmur, heart failure, or other complications may occur. For low blood pressure, an adjustment may need to be made to intravenous fluids, medications, and sometimes blood transfusions .
Brain problems. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk of bleeding in the brain, known as intraventricular hemorrhage. Most bleeds are mild and resolve with few short-term effects. However, some babies may have increased brain bleeding that causes permanent brain injury.
Blood problems. Premature babies are at risk for blood problems such as anemia (lack of red blood cells) and jaundice (yellowing of the skin) in the newborn.
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 consists of a color change in the baby's skin and eyes, which turn yellow, and occurs because the blood contains an excess of bilirubin, a yellow substance from the liver or red blood cells. While jaundice has many causes, it is most common in premature babies.
Temperature control problems . Premature babies can lose heat quickly. They do not have the same stored body fat as a full-term baby and cannot generate enough heat to counteract what is lost through the body surface. If the body temperature drops too low, the core temperature may be lower than normal, known as hypothermia.
Hypothermia in a premature baby can cause breathing problems and low blood glucose levels.
Additionally, a premature baby usually uses all the energy he or she gets from feeding just to maintain temperature. Therefore, smaller premature babies need additional warmth from a warmer or incubator until they are older and can maintain body temperature without assistance , including being held skin-to-skin on the parent's chest when they can come out. from the hospital and go home to continue your care in a “Kangaroo Program”
Gastrointestinal disorders. Premature babies are more likely to have immature gastrointestinal systems, leading to complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis . This disease, which can be serious and in which the cells lining the intestinal wall 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 problems with their metabolism. Some premature babies may have an abnormally low level of blood glucose (hypoglycemia). This may occur because they generally have smaller glucose stores than full-term babies.


Long-term complications: In the long term, premature birth can generate complications, this is why it is essential that the premature baby receives special attention, in a program 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 on any difficulties. Some of the difficulties that should be detected early are:

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

Learning difficulties. At several key developmental milestones, premature babies are more likely to fall behind than babies born full-term. At school age, a child who was born premature will be more likely to have learning problems.

Vision problems. Premature babies can suffer from retinopathy of prematurity, a disease 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 move it out of place. When the retina becomes displaced from the back of the eye, it is called "retinal detachment," a condition that, if left 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 retinologist.

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

Dental problems . Premature babies who have been seriously ill are at increased risk for dental problems, such as delayed teething, tooth color changes, and poor tooth alignment.

Psychological and behavioral problems. Babies born prematurely are more likely than those born full-term 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 children born full term. Infections, asthma, and feeding problems are more likely to develop or persist.


Premature babies also have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

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