4 Preemie Health Concerns and How They Affect Your Baby

Premature Babies Have Higher Risk Of Illnesses

Due to premature babies being born earlier than full term babies, they are at a higher risk to suffer from various illnesses. Preemie health concerns are serious issues that any newborn baby can experience, but premature babies are affected even more.

Often a premature baby is not expected an born early. After a stay in the NICU, premature babies are released to their parents if they are in good health. Unlike any newborn these babies need special considerations and protection.

1) Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)

This is a condition that can affect a premature baby due to immature lung development. When a baby is born before their lungs are fully developed they will need help breathing form a ventilator or breathing tube. In a premature baby’s lungs there is an important substance missing called surfactant. This is what allows for lungs to expand and all for a full term baby to breathe without effort. Without this substance a baby can suffer from a collapsed lung and suffer breathing problems.  Luckily hospitals can now treat this and most babies are able to breathe on their own within weeks.

2) Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

RSV is an illness all parents of newborns should know about. This highly contagious respiratory illness can be severely debilatating for infants and deadly for preemies. A lower respiratory infection can cause pauses in an infant breathing. This illness is most commonly contracted during the winter months and an even be found in hospitals.

3) Chronic Lung Disease/Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

Another condition premature babies can suffer from is BPD, or otherwise known as chronic lung disease. Once again, due to a baby being born earlier than should have been, their bodies are not mature enough. Lungs are weak and immature and babies suffering from chronic lung disease may need oxygen and breathing treatments well after their birth.

4) Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP

Another area of the body that is not fully developed in a premature baby is the retina. This can cause severe vision problems and require medication and medical supervision. Although at times this condition does not need to be treated, but may require surgery.

All babies require tender love and are after birth, but preemies are in a separate category. They are usually much smaller and have immature lungs and immune systems.  Feeding issues can arise for a baby that cannot suck properly and require a feeding tube. All of these issues can be avoided if proper care is practiced and the utmost protection is given to your premature baby. Always discuss any concerns with your pediatrician in regards to your baby’s health.

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