According to the specialists the premature babies may look just as healthy as the babies born on term, but in fact they arenâ€™t. The latest study in the field is meant to raise awareness among the health care specialists so that they will pay more attention to these babies.
It is said that a pregnancy is on term in the moment when the gestational age reaches 37-41 weeks. This is calculated based on the motherâ€™s last menstrual period.
This new study points out that the sooner the babies are born in this time frame, the higher their chances are of developing different kinds of health conditions.
This study is interesting to know about because it is considered the first large scale study that assessed the entire population. The study has been conducted because the doctors noticed that the babies born at a gestational age of 37-38 weeks had worse health outcomes than the babies born at a later stage.
The Doctorâ€™s Experience
In many cases the doctors deliver seemingly healthy babies, but within a few hours the babies develop different health conditions. For example they could be affected by problems with breathing, low blood sugar and they may need antibiotics. These babies are often rushed to the ICU.
The risks of a baby to develop health conditions after being born are of 10% in case of a vaginal delivery. These risks increase to 18% if the baby is born by C-section. Even if the babies seem mature upon birth they are physiologically immature, which increases their chances of being faced with different illnesses.
The researchers feel like they have to stress out the fact that the health care providers must be especially vigilant in case of babies born before the gestational age of 41 weeks. The specialists claim that the results of the study bring the problem of newborns in new light. It also supports the theory according to which development is a continuous process and there is no clear line between maturity and immaturity.
The study is also addressed to the mothers who wish to be with their babies during the first hours of their lives. They have to be extra careful with the little ones and they should observe their every movement so that they will see if there is anything out of place. Such an observation could save the babyâ€™s life.