By Diane Forrest, RN
I was talking with a yesterday and he told me that his daughter had just given birth to a baby boy. I was so excited and happy for him, and offered my congratulations. Then he said, "Why do people always make a fuss over new babies?" I was taken aback by this question, especially from him; he has 7 children and now 7 grandchildren.
I thought for a minute and told him that babies are miracles...a gift from God. A new life to mold, teach and they bring hope for a better brighter world.
Everyone plans for a perfect baby, 10 fingers and 10 toes, healthy and happy; however there are some babies who don't want to wait the whole nine months. For some reason they are in a hurry to meet the parents, and are born prematurely.
Preemies, as premature babies are called, can have many problems depending on how early they are delivered. A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks, however a baby is considered full term at the end of the 36th week. However, babies born after 20 weeks are premature. Babies before 20 weeks are considered non-viable, meaning little chance of survival. According to data years 2003-2005, 20 to 35 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of gestation survive, while 50 to 70 percent of babies born at 24 to 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 26 to 27 weeks, and survive.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. The goal is to make people aware of the dangers of being born prematurely, and measures you can take to prevent a premature birth.
Some measures include:
- Proper prenatal care such as eating right, taking vitamins and regular check ups with your doctor.
- Do not drink or take recreational drugs.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not take any medication or over the counter medication without your doctor's approval.
For more information about premature births check this site: http://www.marchofdimes.com/mission/prematurity.html