What does it mean to be “born prematurely” and what are the causes of preterm birth?
Was your baby born premature?
It is important to know what it means to be born premature
A baby born alive before 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature. Preterm infants are divided into subcategories according to gestational age:
Extremely premature (less than 28 weeks)
Very premature (28 to 32 weeks)
Moderate premature (32 to 35 weeks)
Late preterm (35 to 36+6 weeks)
Preventing complications and deaths due to preterm birth begins with a healthy pregnancy. Quality care before pregnancy, during pregnancy and between pregnancies ensures that pregnancy is a positive experience for all women.
The World Health Organization guidelines on antenatal care include essential interventions that help prevent preterm birth such as:
Advice on healthy diet and proper nutrition.
Avoid the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other psychoactive substances.
Ultrasound measurements of the fetus, which help determine gestational age and detect multiple pregnancies.
A minimum of 8 controls with health professionals throughout the pregnancy, in order to identify and treat other risk factors, such as infections.
Many times it is not known why babies are born early. In cases in which the cause can be identified, it is usually because the mother has had a health problem during pregnancy, such as:
Diabetes : High blood sugar.
Arterial hypertension : High blood pressure.
Heart or kidney problems.
Infection of the vagina, urinary tract, or amniotic membranes (the membranes that surround the baby) not treated promptly or adequately.
There are other reasons why a baby is premature associated with physical conditions or consumption:
Smoking , taking psychoactive drugs , or drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Persistent vaginal bleeding , due to the abnormal position of the placenta (placenta previa) or a placenta that separates from the uterus prematurely (placental abruption).
Having an abnormally shaped uterus (congenital malformations of the womb).
Multiple pregnancy , of more than one baby (twins, triplets or more)-
Being underweight before you got pregnant (thinness based on your body mass index).
Being anemic or not gaining enough weight during pregnancy
Find this and more useful information in the Tool-be Guide Book, available in the Toolbox Starter Box