A pre term baby, owing to less body fat may appear tiny and fragile compared to a full term baby. The sooner the baby is delivered the lesser is the body weight of the baby.
Besides low body weight, preterm babies have thin skin and often their ribs may be easily visible under the skin. Irrespective of their natural skin color preterm babies look red and have wrinkled skin.
In case of preterm baby born before the 26th week of gestation, their eyelids will remain sealed until the 26th week.
Preterm babies born before the 24th week usually donít have hair on the head as they lack the lanugo. Lanugo is the layer that shields the body from the 24th gestation week onwards.
The lungs and the genitals of the premature baby may appear to be too tiny on account of incomplete development.
The movement of a preterm baby may be severely restricted as the body lacks the much needed body fat and muscle. The hands and legs of these babies may remain in almost the same outstretched position in the absence of muscle tone.
The cries of preterm babies may be too feeble.
Due to poor muscle tone the preterm baby may be so tiny and fragile that even natural sucking of the breast milk may be too difficult. This makes it necessary to fed the baby small amounts of breast milk through tubes inserted in the mouth.
The composition of breast milk of mothers who have preterm delivery is different from the milk of full term delivery. Preterm breast milk supposingly is richer in protein content and is essential for the development of the brain. Moreover, pre term breast milk puts lesser stress on the organs of the baby making it easier to digest the milk.
The above explained nutritional advantage makes it necessary to feed the pre term baby with breast milk. If breast feeding directly is not possible small amounts of the motherís milk is fed through tubes in the nose and mouth.
Research shows that playing Mozartís music to premature babies is highly beneficial as it not only soothes the baby but also helps to slow down the metabolism rate. With less energy expended, the saved calories help the preterm baby to put on weight and gain strength.
Another effective therapy for premature babies is the kangaroo care. It refers to the skin to skin contact of the mother and the preterm baby just like how a kangaroo carries its baby. The kangaroo care helps to regulate the heart rate, body temperature and the breathing of the preterm baby.
To conclude, with todayís advancement in neonatology, a preterm baby does not necessarily mean a lifetime of ailments. Surely they need extra care in the early years but soon they will grow up to be healthy like full term babies.
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A pre term baby, owing to less body fat may appear tiny and fragile compared to a full term baby for premature babies facts.
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