Infancy

A premature baby can be referred to as a preterm baby, which is to mean that the baby was conceived too early. Too early is time before thirty-seven weeks of being pregnant have passed. Because of being born before the proper time, the baby may get problems with their health and is required to stay in the hospital to be monitored by the medical practitioners tasked with the work. For instance pediatricians. There is also the risk of getting long-term problems that relate to the child’s health which can affect them during their lifetime. Such health issues include:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)

Respiratory Distress Syndrome is a breathing disorder that affects the premature baby because of the immaturity ofthe lungs. The lungs of the baby who is born before they are ready to leave the womb often lack a liquid substance known as surfactant. This liquid substance is responsible for enabling the lungs to remain expanded. This disorder can be treated with the use of artificial surfactants whose use is combined with the presence of a ventilator which helps the baby breathe better and to be able to maintain the required oxygen level in their blood. In extreme cases, the baby may need long-term oxygen treatment and may go back home on supportive oxygen therapy.

Chronic Lung Disease/Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, which is also referred to as Chronic Lung Disease describes premature babies who need oxygen for extended periods of time that can stretch from weeks to months. The condition varies in severity in different preterm babies, and most of them outgrow the condition with time because their lungs grow and become more mature.

Apnea and Bradycardia

Apnea can be referred to as a temporary pause, that is longer than fifteen seconds during breathing. It is common in premature babies. The heart rate of the preterm baby deteriorates as a result of the pause, and this is called bradycardia. When the saturation of oxygen declines this is called desaturation. The machine used to measure the oxygen saturation is called pulse oximetry. Most of the premature babies outgrow this health condition by the time they are leaving the hospital to go home.

Jaundice

Jaundice is a condition that affects premature babies. When a chemical called bilirubin builds up in the preterm baby’s blood, it results in the health problem. Jaundice exhibits itself in the skin of the baby developing a yellowish color, and it affects babies of all races. Treatment can be by placing the baby under special lights while their eyes are covered for protection, and they are fully undressed.