Expecting mothers in Washington always hope for the best for their child. While the state of modern medicine makes healthy labor very common, it's also possible for issues to occur during childbirth. The possibility of a premature birth is one thing to consider.
What is premature birth? The American Pregnancy Association states that any baby born before the 37th week of the gestation period is considered a premature baby. These babies often face a higher rate of complications than babies born within the normal and expected time frame. The earlier a baby is born, the more potential complications they could be dealing with. They can include:
- Intraventricular hemorrhage
- Immature lung, gastrointestinal, or digestive systems
- Inability to retain body heat
Many of these issues stem from the baby being born before their systems are able to fully develop. Special care units are available to tend to these babies in the period after their birth. They will likely need to stay in the hospital longer than a baby born during the expected time period because they'll need more intensive care and attention.
Mayo Clinic states that babies born in the late preterm period are most common, and are also the most likely to have mild symptoms or to make fuller recoveries. On the other hand, babies born in the extremely preterm time period will usually have the most obvious complications and may be most difficult to treat.
There isn't one clear cause for premature birth. Though some risk factors can contribute to an increased chance of this occurring, it can often feel random. Mothers who are dealing with a premature birth may wish to look into the possible long-term effects so as to be prepared for the road ahead.