Increases the rate of premature births
The rate of premature births has increased in recent years and lies between a 8 and 10 percent. Although gynecological controls are getting better, there are a number of reasons that are causing this increase premature births or prematurely, which gives rise to premature babies.
Among the main reasons are "being a mother at a late age, multiple pregnancies or maternal stress are some of the causes that can influence the delivery of premature childbirth, and the best current obstetric and pediatric care can lead to a premature provocation and desirable, when the gestation is not going well, "says Dr. Rosa Pérez-Piaya, head of the Neonatal and Pediatric ICU of the University Hospital HM Montepríncipe.
"When a baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is considered premature, there are different types of prematurity, according to the week in which they are born, and so between 34 and 37 we speak of late prematurity. Failure to achieve immaturity and weight, although it is not free of risk or complications As we go down in the scale of weeks of gestation, diseases appear more frequently in premature babies, and the situation is complicated by the incidence of diseases below 32 weeks or when the premature weighs less than 1500 grams, "says Dr. Pérez-Piaya.
The care of premature babies: focused on the development
Already in childbirth, premature babies need special care that only expert neonatologists can provide, which must be accompanied by an organized resuscitation and a fast and safe transfer to the Neonatal Unit, where they are provided with all the medical attention they need: oxygen, assisted breathing systems, surfactant, antibiotic therapy, parenteral nutrition ...
In these units, premature babies and their parents enjoy a comfortable space, with low levels of sound and light. The aim is to provide early kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact between the breast of the mother or father, and baby), as well as to involve the parents in the direct care of their children. And furthermore, Dr. Pérez-Piana indicates that "it is very important to apply Development-Centered Care to the premature newborn, as a set of medical and nursing actions that try to reduce the stress and suffering of the baby, to favor their development sensorineural and emotional, and to ensure that parents are also essential caregivers of the child during their stay in the hospital. "
The stay of the premature babies in the Neonatal ICU
The average stay of large premature babies is 3 months, but it is always necessary to individualize. The expert points out that "the stay in the Neonatal ICU has been established at 35 weeks of postconceptional age, as long as the weight and maturity of the child is sufficient".
And regarding age, the doctor clarifies that "there are two ways to measure the age of the premature baby: the chronological and the corrected or postconceptional, the first takes into account the date of birth and the second, the gestational age that would have remained in the mother's cloister, it is this second that best informs us of the capabilities of the baby. "
The role of parents in the care of the premature baby
It is very important that parents can be with their children as long as possible. From the beginning you have to train the parents so that they can participate in the direct care of the premature baby. They should facilitate early contact with their children by applying the "kangaroo method" and, when they can not, unless they can touch them.
In many cases, the attention to mothers and fathers by the Psychiatric and Psychological Service is also very necessary because the birth of a child before time is a real trauma for the parents, with negative feelings of frustration, guilt, fear and inability to take care of your child.
The affective bond that is established in the first days of life, "is much more difficult when the newborn is hospitalized, in an incubator and with a multitude of wires, electrodes and catheters, which make parent-child contact difficult. This attachment is fundamental for the good development of the baby both at the neurological and social and emotional levels, "says the expert.
Also, parents should be aware that breast milk is the best food that can be given to the baby and that the mother can be extracted to provide it to the newborn, from the first hours after birth.
Dr. Pérez-Piaya. Neonatologist of the Neonatal ICU HM Montepríncipe