Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy are referred to as premature babies. It is considered that the 24th week of pregnancy is the earliest time when the baby is sufficiently developed to survive, but with intensive medical care. Babies born before the 24th week in most cases are not mature enough to survive.
How dangerous is the baby born before the term?
Early-born children are usually small and under-developed. Extremely immature children, those born before 28 gestation weeks, are particularly sensitive. Their organs are too immature to function well beyond the mother’s womb. Therefore, due to premature birth, in some cases, there is a risk that the baby has some health problems such as:
- Breathing problems (development of chronic lung disease, problems in the development of lungs)
- Cardiovascular problems
- Nutrition problems (inability to coordinate sucking and swallowing, milk intolerance)
- neurological problems (cerebral hemorrhage, reduced tone, convulsions)
- disorders in the development of blood vessels in the eye
- Preference for infections
How does a premature baby look like?
The basic characteristic of premature babies is general immaturity of organs and systems that are important for life. The baby’s skin is thin and covered with fine hairs, and the blood vessels below it are still visible.
Muscles and subcutaneous fat tissue are poorly developed, so the baby looks “slim and thin”. Her cries are barely audible, and full organs are undeveloped. Over time, the baby will mature, progress, grow and get the appearance of a child born in a term.
Do all premature babies need to be in an incubator?
In the first days of life, a premature baby has an immature system of body temperature regulation, so without adjusting the ambient temperature it cannot maintain normal body temperature. In the incubator, it is easier to adjust the temperature and humidity of the environment. Also, the incubator represents an isolated environment and in this way protects the baby from possible infections.
Thus, the incubator provides the best possible environment for the care of immature and sick newborns.