The word preterm is derived from the Latin word prae(before) and the Greek word terma(limit). In 1977, the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined preterm birth as birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation or fewer than 259 days from the first day of the last menstrual period.
As per statistics provided by WHO, an estimated 15 million babies are born too early every year. That is more than 1 in 10 babies. Approximately, 1 million children die each year due to the complications of preterm birth.
Globally, more than 10 % of all the babies born are preterm. Preterm birth is the most important cause of neonatal mortality and the second-leading cause of death before age of 5 (after pneumonia) worldwide.
Preterm birth is a matter of global concern. However, more than 60% of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia. In the lower-income countries, on average, 12% of babies are born too early compared with 9% in higher-income countries. Within countries, poorer families are at higher risk.
On the basis of how earlier they are born, Preterm babies can be further divided into three subcategories:
extremely preterm (less than 28 weeks)
very preterm (28 to 32 weeks)
moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 weeks).
Complications Due to Premature Birth of a Baby
Prolonged Hospital stay
Mortality risk is much higher than for a newborn at term.
Difficult adaptation to life outside the womb.
Hypoglycemia, respiratory distress, apnea, temperature instability, digestive disorders: jaundice or external feeding difficulties.
Increased susceptibility to infections, especially respiratory tract infections, asthma, hypertension.
Visual and hearing deficits : myopia, deafness, growth retardation in stature-weight
Neurological problems, such as paralysis or cerebral atrophy, increased risk of autism (especially in the case of the late premature)
Risk factors that Cause Premature Birth of a Baby(Complex and Multifactorial)
Approximately two-thirds of preterm births are spontaneous, and the causes are largely unknown
Maternal factors (local and general) – Age : under 16 or over 45 years
Height of mother below 145 cm
Pre-pregnancy weight less than 45kg
Low socioeconomic level
Excessive physical effort
Gynecological and obstetrics history – within less than a year after a previous birth
History of premature births
History of repeated miscarriages or abortions
Smoking and alcohol
Occupational poisoning with lead, mercury
Excessive sexual activity in the last trimester of pregnancy
Infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
There could also be a genetic influence
Greater use of infertility treatments leading to increased rates of multiple pregnancies, and changes in obstetrics practices such as more cesarean births before terms
Omilights love to post every informative piece of information on the website. We want to connect the world by way of reading and sharing information, that is why we have not restricted our postings to one or more categories. We will post whatever would be useful and happening round the world, and also hoping for your valuable feedback and comments.