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Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are termed as premature babies. These babies are not fully developed yet, hence they face problems after birth, necessitating certain measures to keep them alive. For a baby born at 35 weeks, there are a few points to be kept in mind while taking care of him.
What Causes Childbirth at 35 Weeks?
Sometimes a baby may be born at 35 weeks of pregnancy. Following may be the reasons for the same.
- The mother may be having twins or triplets in the current pregnancy.
- The baby is not secured completely by the cervix.
- The uterus is not optimal and is facing irritation.
- There are issues involving the placenta separation.
- The consumption of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes continues during pregnancy.
- The onset of an illness that can trigger the delivery of the child.
Complications Associated with Babies Born at 35 Weeks
Some of the complications that a baby may undergo if he is born at 35 weeks of pregnancy:
1. A Baby May Suffer from Jaundice
Since the development of the baby has not undergone the complete cycle, certain organs fail to develop completely. One of these organs is liver that is still immature and cannot process the red blood cells as effectively as it should. This poses a large risk of contracting jaundice by the little one which results in the skin becoming yellow. If left untreated, this could start affecting the brain and lead to further complications.
2. A Baby May Have a Weak Immune System
Similar to jaundice, there are other infections that might attack the baby and cause health-related problems. A prematurely born baby does not receive the necessary antibodies from his mother that help him fight off the usual suspects that affect the body. And if medical procedures are conducted, they may aggravate the risk of infection.
3. A Baby Fails to Feed Properly
Although the actions of sucking and swallowing are integrated into the body as reflexes, a baby may still fail to carry them out effectively at such a premature age. This usually occurs in babies born at 32 weeks but certain babies can struggle with that even at 35 weeks.
4. A Baby May Have Problem while Breathing
All the organs need enough time to mature; and if a baby is born premature, one of his key organs that are affected are the lungs. Although the lungs may seem to be grown pretty well, they lack a lubricant covering their tissues called surfactant. This lubricant is extremely essential since it prevents the tissues from sticking to each other when they expand and contract while breathing. Weak breathing muscles further increase the problem leading to distressful respiration.
5. A Baby May Have Less Than Ideal Weight
The incomplete development of a baby may lead to the baby weighing less than 2 to 2.5 kgs at birth. Further compounded by the inability to feed well, this could result in problems that lead to the baby not gaining weight properly and quickly.
6. Fluctuating Body Temperature
The ideal body weight and percentage of body fat are essential to keep the baby safe by keeping the internal heat levels at the right temperature. The absence of fat leads to failure in such regulation causing hypothermia at times. This makes it necessary to use incubators or warm electric beds to help the baby survive.
Possible Treatments for a Preemie Baby Born at 35 Weeks
Here are some treatment options for a baby born prematurely at 35 weeks.
1. Make Use of Alarms and Baby Monitors
Prevention is the first step of any treatment and it can be only done when a baby is observed carefully and continuously. Nurses and doctors will make use of equipment that help monitor the baby’s vitals including blood pressure, temperature, oxygen, breathing rhythms, and so on. Any dissonance is linked to an alarm that can inform the doctors to take corrective action immediately.
2. Provide Necessary Support for Respiration
The supportive measures to help your baby to breathe properly can differ based on how severe the respiratory distress of your child is. At times, your child might be breathing well and simply needs additional oxygen to maintain the optimal level in the body. This can be provided via a nasal tube that supplements the existing oxygen supply.
If the levels are drastically low due to severe distress, a BiPAP machine that places a mask over your child’s nose might be used. This forces air into the lungs every time the baby breathes. If your baby’s lungs fail to function properly due to lack of surfactant, then he might be required to be put on a ventilator.
3. Make Use of UV Radiation
Administering medication on the baby may not be always possible in a premature state. In such cases, in order to treat jaundice, UV light rays might be used on the child. These naturally work towards breaking down the red blood cells that the liver ought to be doing. Additional fluids might be supplied to take care of any toxins that might be produced.
4. Supply Food Via a Feeding Tube
If the baby is not being fed properly, make use of a tube that directly enters a baby’s stomach. This makes sure the breast milk or formula reaches the baby properly and is digested well to help him gain weight rapidly.
5. Encouraging Skin to Skin Contact
Incubators and electric beds keep the body temperature right. However, undertaking skin-to-skin contact not only keeps your baby warm but reassures him of your presence and strengthens the bond.
How to Take Care of Your Premature Baby at Home?
Parents should be vigil while taking care of a premature baby, as he requires more attention and care. Remember these points to take care of a preemie baby:
- Refrain from stepping outside if your baby is born in winter.
- Undertake necessary steps to help your baby cope with developmental delays.
- Follow a strict schedule to feed your baby to promote weight gain.
- Let your baby sleep in your room. Do not make him sleep in a crib in another room.
- Undertake basic training of administering CPR on an infant.
- Don’t hesitate from asking any questions to the hospital staff or contacting your doctor.
What Is the Survival Rate of a Baby Born at 35 Weeks?
The survival rate of babies born at 35 weeks stands at 99 percent. So, you need not worry yourself. Just ensure that you take good care of your preemie baby.
A baby at 35 weeks might resemble a full-term one. However, he is still premature and needs the right support to grow properly and be healthy. Take precautions once you bring your child home and you would start experiencing all his milestones of growth at the right times.