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Any baby that is born before the completion of at least 37 weeks of pregnancy is generally termed as a premature baby. The development of the baby is yet to be completed across the full cycle of 40 weeks. Therefore, extra precautions and measures need to be undertaken to ensure that the baby stays safe and healthy.
What Causes Child Birth at 33 Weeks?
Following are the causes of childbirth at 33 weeks of pregnancy:
- Being pregnant with more than one baby.
- Irritation in the uterus, or the cervix’s inability to keep the baby secure.
- Placenta-related issues that could necessitate separating the baby earlier than usual.
- Consumption of alcohol or addiction to drugs that affect the pregnancy.
- Being infected by an illness that causes the body to go into early labour.
Risks Associated with Babies Born At 33 Weeks
Premature babies are prone to several health risks. Some of the risks include:
1. Risks Around Weight
If a baby is born in the 33rd week of the pregnancy, his weight is usually around 1.5 to 3 kilograms. Babies that are less than 2 to 2.5 kilograms require extensive measures to keep them alive until they reach the designated weight. The weight is a marker of body fat present in the baby, which is essential in maintaining a safe body temperature outside the womb. Radiating warmers, incubators, electric beds can all be used to ensure the baby stays warm throughout. Once the baby gains enough weight, these can be removed.
2. Risks Around Feeding
For the baby to gain weight as fast as possible, feeding is the primary thing that needs to be undertaken. However, babies born before completing 34 weeks of pregnancy are unable to suckle the breast as effectively as required. This also leads to ruling out the possibility of mouth feedings, since the inability to suckle affects the digestive process and mouth feeding might result in indigestion, which could lead to further complications. In such cases, a feeding tube is the only way to ensure that the baby gets all the nutrients he requires. This tube goes right into the baby’s stomach or can even be intravenous, too.
3. Risks Around Development
A large part of a baby’s development happens inside the womb which prepares it to perceive the world after delivery. Up until the 35th week of pregnancy, the baby’s brain is only at 66% of its final weight. Due to premature delivery at 33rd week, the brain doesn’t have a chance to develop fully, which could result in behavioural problems later in life.
4. Risks Around Infections
Just like the brain, another system that requires time inside the womb to function at an optimal level outside is the immunity system. The baby receives a boost of antibodies in the final stages of the pregnancy which enables him to survive the initial wave of bacteria and infections that might come his way. A premature delivery followed by incessant procedures to keep the baby alive can greatly increase the risk of infection and further complications.
How to Take Care Of Preemies Born at 33 Weeks?
As a premature baby require a little extra care in comparison to healthy babies, there are certain protocols that are recommended for their care.
- Many tend to overlook the fact that a prematurely born baby undergoes quite a bit of trauma and troublesome conditions in its effort to stay alive. By adopting that mindset, you can ensure that you stop worrying about what has happened and try to provide as much care as possible to the baby by handling any issues that might arise.
- Keeping your baby under observation until he can live without any support is absolutely essential. Any diversions from the norm should be brought to your doctor’s notice immediately.
- Since your baby cannot feed right away, it is essential you still keep your body prepared to feed him the moment he can. This requires regular pumping of the breast to store the milk and maintaining a thought process of imagining your baby on your breast that keeps the production of the milk going strong.
- Spending time with your little one is as much necessary for you as it is for him. He can very well listen to you and sense the surroundings. Keep talking to him or sing to him so that he knows you are around and feels safe. If he can be held, emphasize on the skin to skin contact as much as possible to reassure the child that everything is fine.
- Restrict the number of individuals that interact with the baby until the baby has had time to recover.
- If anybody is sick or has signs of an illness, keep him away from the baby since his immune system is still developing.
- While handling your baby, ensure your hands are clean and disinfected. Make sure other family members take the same precautions, too.
- Keep a box of use-and-throw tissues for the baby as well as anybody else to maintain a hygienic atmosphere. Sterilize any toys that the kid plays with.
- Do not smoke in the vicinity of the child at all.
What Is the Survival Rate of Babies Born at 33 Weeks?
The survival rate of babies born in the 33rd week of pregnancy stands at a solid 98 percent. This is a good sign that your baby will be able to stay put and grow well within no time.
How Long Does Baby Born at 33 Weeks Stay in NICU?
For a baby born at 33 weeks, his stay at NICU is determined by the complications he baby suffers from. For most babies, the stay in the NICU is usually short. Breathing issues might resolve soon but feeding does take quite some time. The reflexes of sucking and swallowing need quite a bit of strength. Ensuring that your baby gets enough sleep is also observed in NICU and the baby is discharged only when he is completely fine.
Even if the baby is prematurely born at 33 weeks, the chances of him leading a good newborn life are pretty high and strong. Keeping your calm while the baby recovers to a good state and taking the right precautions going forward, can ensure that you and your baby lead the journey of growing up together without complications.