When baby comes early
BASED on local registry findings, the survival rate for preterm babies at 26 weeks gestational age is almost 45%. Those born at 27 weeks have a survival rate of about 50%; and those at 29 weeks, about 80%. After 31 weeks gestation, the survival rate is 90%.
Besides the survival rate, there is the quality of life to consider.
Pre-term babies or premies, depending on how early they are, can have no health problems or all sorts of health concerns.
In the United States, pre-term babies make up about 8-10% of all deliveries (according to the US National Library of Medicine).
Dr Irene Cheah, consultant paediatrician and neonatologist, says that of the deliveries in Malaysian government hospitals, about 20,000 of the total 480,000-490,000 in a year are pre-term.
This means about 4-5% of deliveries in local government hospitals are pre-term.
Dr Cheah urges parents to come in to the hospital as soon as possible if they detect labour symptoms but are not at 40 weeks yet.
“It’s important for parents to detect that they could be in labour and to come in early because then the doctors can slow down the labour if they are in established labour. This will delay labour by a day so that they can be given steroids to mature the baby’s lungs,” she explains.
ParenThots finds out all about pre-term babies and parents’ role in helping them in the first few months.
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A mother tending to her premature baby in an infant incubator. ParenThots finds out all about pre-term babies and parents’ role in helping them in the first few months.