Questions and Answers About Premature Babies

Premature babies need special care so they can continue growing in a healthy way. Your primary care doctor can guide you through the process.
Questions and Answers About Premature Babies

Last update: 20 August, 2018

When mothers hear about premature babies, they tend to have thousands of questions about how to take care of them.

Babies are considered to be premature when mothers give birth before the 37th week. However, this doesn’t mean that all babies will have the same problems.

Most common questions and answers about premature babies

Babies born before the 28th week are usually at the greatest risk. In these cases, which are more serious, it’s important to follow all of your pediatrician’s guidelines. You need to make sure to take the necessary actions.

We’ll explain some of the most common concerns about premature babies below.

Is it the mother’s fault that the baby was born prematurely?

No, it’s not the mother’s fault. The only thing that might influence this is if the mother has high blood pressure. On the other hand, the baby could be born early if the placenta isn’t placed properly or isn’t fully developed.

Is the baby’s life at risk?

Nowadays, medicine has greatly advanced and these pregnancies are more and more common. Everything will depend on the baby’s weight at birth, the week he was born, and whether he has any additional health problems.

The greatest risk, as we mentioned earlier, is for babies born before week 28.

“Babies born before the 28th week usually have the greatest risk. In these cases, it’s important to follow all of the guidelines from your pediatrician.”

Can sex during pregnancy cause premature birth?

Sexual activity can release oxytocin, a hormone that can stimulate uterine contractions. If a woman is already going into labor, sexual activity does accelerate labor.

Therefore, doctors recommend avoiding sex if you have symptoms of premature birth. It could cause the baby to be born early.

Questions and Answers About Premature Babies

Can food cause premature birth?

Generally, women who eat correctly, avoid harmful substances and get adequate prenatal care have the best results in their pregnancy. However, there are always exceptions.

It’s also possible for women who do everything right to still deliver prematurely. Some women who don’t follow these guidelines have their baby at full-term. It all depends on each individual pregnancy.

If the baby is in the neonatal unit, can the mother see him at any time?

This depends on the hospital. Generally, the vast majority of hospitals allow parents to see their baby at all times, whenever they want. Nurses even teach the mother to move, care for and bathe the baby. It all depends on your specific hospital.

Are they more likely to get sick than babies born on time?

Premature babies often have a much less developed immune system, which makes them more vulnerable to infection. Because of this, it’s very important to keep good hygiene habits. Always wash your hands with soap, even if there isn’t any physical contact. You want to minimize the amount of germs you expose your baby to.

“Babies can also be born after their due date. They’re known as post-mature babies. This happens if they’re born after 42 weeks.”

Can a disease during pregnancy cause premature labor?

Yes, the mother’s health during pregnancy can affect labor. Diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia and kidney disease can directly influence the baby’s delivery.

Also, the combination of an early delivery and diseases in the mother can cause the child to get an infection.

When is a premature baby released from the hospital?

When the child doesn’t need the incubator to maintain his body temperature, can breathe on his own, can take the breast or bottle, and weighs about 5 pounds, he can be discharged.

Some hospitals have programs responsible for evaluating the baby’s health even when he or she is already at home.

Questions and Answers About Premature Babies

When and how should the baby sleep?

Generally, for the first few weeks, premature babies usually sleep up to 22 hours a day.

To make the baby feel more comfortable, you can simulate a hospital-like environment. He should always lie on his back and on a mattress that is firm enough and without any pillows.

How should you take care of a premature baby’s skin?

Doctors recommend that you don’t bathe the baby every day. His skin is much more prone to infections.

Bathe him once or twice per week. The rest of the days, gently wipe his face, hands, diaper area and folds with a soft cloth and sterile gauze.

Having a premature baby is much more common than you might think. It can happen to any mother, even if she is in good health. The fundamental thing is to know how to care for him. Also, talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.