Pregnancy is always associated with risks. If a child is born too early, it is called premature birth. A baby is considered premature if it is born before the 37th week of pregnancy or weighs less than 2500 grams at birth.
Here you can find out the most important causes of premature birth.
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Causes Of Premature Birth – When Is It Too Early?
A child is called premature if it is born before the end of the 37th week of pregnancy. Accordingly, medical professionals divide premature babies into three groups based on the length of pregnancy or birth weight.
Extremely Premature Babies
Extremely premature babies are those who have completed 27 weeks of pregnancy or have a weight below 1000 grams.
Very Preterm Babies
If a baby has completed 30 weeks of gestation in the womb and is under a weight of 1500 grams, he or she is classified as a very premature preterm baby.
Moderately Premature Preterm Infants
Moderately premature preterm infants are those who have already completed the 36th week of pregnancy and show a weight of fewer than 2500 grams.
Signs Of A Possible Miscarriage
About ten percent of all children are born below the 37th week of pregnancy. Their chances of survival and development have improved dramatically due to medical developments. However, the causes of premature birth are completely different. However, if you pay attention to some signs, it may be possible to prevent premature birth.
Various symptoms can indicate a possible premature birth. Among the most common signs are premature contractions. Even though occasional contractions are completely normal, you should still not take them lightly. If they occur several times at short intervals over a longer period of time, there is a relatively high probability that they are premature contractions.
In the case of preterm labor – especially if it occurs well before the expected due date – a medical examination is urgently needed! Your gynecologist can determine whether a premature birth is imminent or not.
Rarely, such symptoms are associated with occasional bleeding. In the worst case, the amniotic sac may break and amniotic fluid may leak out. Then it is most important for you and your baby to go to a clinic immediately! There, the health of both of you will be monitored to avoid the worst.
What Can I Do To Avoid A Miscarriage?
Since you care about the health of your baby, here are some advice and useful tips for you to avoid a possible miscarriage.
Nature has provided about 40 weeks to give your baby as much time as possible to develop. However, not everyone lasts that long and wants to explore the world before that.
Unfortunately, you cannot completely prevent premature birth, but you can at least minimize the probability.
The consumption of alcohol and cigarettes should be massively reduced at an early stage, ideally when you already want to have a child. At the latest when the pregnancy test shows you “positive”. Even if it is not always easy, you should reduce excess weight.
Of course, this does not mean a radical diet during pregnancy, but you should reduce your sugar consumption and avoid unhealthy fats. Symptoms of vaginal infection (itching, burning, stinging, pain during urination, altered discharge) should be a reason to visit your gynecologist.
If you suspect preterm labor or cervical opening, be extremely careful!
Are There Risk Factors?
In about 40 percent of all preterm births, the causes are unclear. However, there are some factors that may favor the likelihood of preterm birth. They can be detected early during screening examinations and some of them can even be treated accordingly.
The following factors increase the risk of premature birth:
– Severe emotional stress.
– Nicotine and alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
– Malformations of the placenta or uterus.
– Diseases such as preeclampsia, diabetes mellitus or a vaginal infection.
Possible Consequences For The Child
The causes of premature birth can be completely different. Basically, a child is viable between the 23rd and 25th weeks of pregnancy. However, children born before the 25th week are at risk of moderate to severe disabilities. In addition, the weight of the child is a determining factor.
If a child weighs less than 1500 grams after birth, they, unfortunately, have a 200 times higher risk of dying than children weighing over 2500 grams. The latter have only up to 10 times higher risk of neurological damage.
Developmental disorders, visual and hearing damage, seizures, and chronic lung problems, among others, are common in very small premature babies. An important factor in preventing lung problems is the development of lung maturity, which usually occurs around the 24th week of pregnancy.
Premature Birth Before 22 Weeks Gestation
Children born at this time are unfortunately not viable.
Premature Birth After The 22nd To 23rd SSW
During this gestational age, the child’s chance of survival increases. However, this can vary. One speaks here of about 10-50%. However, 20-30% of the children may suffer from physical and mental disabilities.
Premature Birth After The 24th SSW And Later
The survival rate of premature babies at this stage is 60-80%.
Premature Infants With Congenital Health Disorders And Those Acquired At Birth
In the case of premature infants with severe health disorders who have no prospect of improvement in their state of health, doctors consider whether intensive medical measures should be limited in the best interests of the child. In doing so, the physician understandably takes into account the degree of impairment and the resulting change in the child’s chance of life.
If it is foreseeable that the child will die, the parents will have the option of being assisted with end-of-life care and burial of the child.