Born too soon
World Prematurity Day falls on Nov 17, and this is an opportune time to heighten awareness of the dangers associated with preterm birth. PREMATURE infants, also known as preemies, come into this world earlier than full-term infants. A normal pregnancy lasts for approximately 40 weeks. Preterm birth is the birth of a baby occurring before 37 completed weeks (less than 259 days) of pregnancy. They look different from full-term babies, and find simple things like feeding and breathing difficult. There has been significant progress in the care of premature infants, but not in reducing the prevalence of preterm birth. Preterm birth is among the top causes of infant deaths worldwide. Every year, about 15 million babies are born prematurely – more than one in 10 of all babies born around the world. Newborn deaths – those in the first month of life – account for 40% of all deaths among children under five years of age. Prematurity is the world’s single biggest cause of newborn death, and the second leading cause of all child deaths, after pneumonia. Many of the preterm babies who survive face a lifetime of disability. Preterm babies have a higher risk of complications that could lead to death within the first year of life. Their lungs and digestive systems are often not fully developed, and they face a higher risk of brain damage. These premature babies have not had time to grow and thus they have a low birth weight (birth weight below 5lb 8oz is defined as low birth...
Born too soon