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Premature Baby

Babies born before the 37th week of gestation are born prematurely and are sometimes given the nickname, "preemies".

Babies who are born closer to 7 Months may not able to

  • doneEat
  • doneBreath
  • doneStay warm on their own

Why do premature newborns need special care?

  • doneA premature newborn is not fully ready to deal with our world.
  • doneTheir little bodies still have areas that need to mature and fully develop. Some of these areas include the
    • done_allkeyboard_arrow_right Lungs
    • done_allDigestive System
    • done_allImmune System
    • done_allSkin
Patient Portal and Personal Health Record

Average Height and Weight of Boys at different ages

# Age Weight(kg) Height(cm)
1 Birth 3.3 50.5
2 3 Month 6.0 61.1
3 6 Month 7.8 67.8
4 9 Month 9.2 72.3
5 1 Year 10.2 76.1

Average Height and Weight of Girls at different ages

# Age Weight(kg) Height(cm)
1 Birth 3.2 49.9
2 3 Month 5.4 60.2
3 6 Month 7.2 66.6
4 9 Month 8.6 71.1
5 1 Year 9.5 75.0
OBS/GYN patient portal

Signs of prematurity include:

Not all premature babies will have these characteristics

  • doneBody hair (lanugo)
  • doneAbnormal breathing patterns (shallow, irregular pauses in breathing called apnea)
  • doneEnlarged clitoris (female infant)
  • doneProblems breathing due to immature lungs (neonatal respiratory distress syndrome) or pneumonia
  • doneLower muscle tone and less activity than full-term infants
  • doneProblems feeding due to difficulty sucking or coordinating swallowing and breathing
  • done Less body fat
  • doneSmall scrotum, smooth without ridges, and undescended testicles (male infant)
  • done Soft, flexible ear cartilage
  • doneThin, smooth, shiny skin, which is often transpare skin)
Patient Portal and Personal Health Record

Possible Complications

Possible complications that may occur while in the hospital include

  • doneAnemia
  • donePossible long-time complications
  • doneMental or physical disability or delay
  • doneInfection or neonatal sepsis
  • doneRetinopathy of prematurity, vision loss,
  • doneLow blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or blindness
  • doneNeonatal respiratory distress syndrome, extra air in the tissue of the lungs (pulmonary interstitial emphysema), bleeding in the lungs (pulmonary hemorrhage)
  • doneNewborn jaundice
  • donePatent ducturs arteriosus
  • doneSevere intestinal inflammation (necrotizing enterocolitis)
OBS/GYN patient portal

God Grace

Medical technology has made it possible for preemies to get through the first few days, weeks or months of life until they are able to make it on their own.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

  • doneNicu is your newborns protected Enviro ment.
  • done It may also be his or her home.
  • doneYou should know that it is equipped with
    • done_all Caring Staff
    • done_allMonitoring
    • done_allAlarm systems
    • done_allRespiratory
    • done_allResuscitation Equipment
    • done_allAccess to physicians in every pediatric specialty, 24 hour laboratory service and YOU!
Patient Portal and Personal Health Record

Monitoring and alarm systems

Monitoring machines vary depending on the hospital and NICU. However, all monitors record the heart rate

  • doneRespiratory rate
  • doneBlood pressure
  • doneTemperature

Monitoring and alarm systems

A pulse oximeter may be taken to rneasure the amount of oxygen in the blood.

You may notice that your newborn has various sticky pads or cuffs on his

  • doneChest
  • doneLegs
  • doneArms
  • doneOther Body Parts

These sticky pads and cuffs have wires that connect to the monitor which often looks like a television screen and displays various numbers.

OBS/GYN patient portal

Methods of respiratory assistance

  • doneEndotracheal tube
  • doneVentilator
  • doneContinuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP)
  • doneOxygen hood

Methods of feeding

  • doneIntravenous lines
  • doneUmbilical catheter
  • doneOral and nasal feeding
  • doneCentral line (sometimes referred to as a PICC line)
Patient Portal and Personal Health Record


  • doneIncubator— A clear plastic crib that keeps babies warm and helps protect them from germs and noise.
  • doneBili lights — This is a bright blue fluorescent light that is located over your baby's incubator. This light is used to treat jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes).

Kangaroo Care

  • doneKangaroo care is placing a premature baby in an upright position on a mother's bare chest allowing tummy to tummy contact and placing the premature baby in between the mother's breasts.
  • doneThe baby's head is turned so that the ear is above the parent's heart.
  • doneKangaroo care has been shown to help premat newborns with
OBS/GYN patient portal

Kangaroo Care

  • doneBody temperature
    • done_allMothers have thermal synchrony with their baby. The study also concluded that when the baby was cold
    • done_allThe mother's body temperature would increase to warm the baby up and visa versa.
  • doneBreastfeeding
    • done_allKangaroo care allows easy access to the breast and skin-to-skin contact increases milk let-down.
  • doneIncrease weight gain
    • done_allKangaroo care allows the baby to fall into a deep sleep which allows the baby to conserve energy for more important things. Increased weight gain means shorter hospital stay.
  • doneIncreased intimacy and attachment
Patient Portal and Personal Health Record
Patient Portal and Personal Health Record


  • doneBreastfeeding strengthens a baby's immune defenses and provides emotional connections between a mother and her baby.
  • donewhen a baby is born prematurely a mother may not be allowed to breastfeed her baby.
  • doneMost premature newborns, between 25-29 weeks gestational age, are fed intravenously or through a tube.
  • doneIf you are planning to breastfeed you should tell your doctor and nurses immediately after the birth.
  • doneThen you can begin expressing and storing your breast milk for when your baby is ready for it.
  • doneYour baby's digestive system and control of electrolytes will determine when he will be able to handle breast milk through a tube
  • doneThis is when you can use the milk you have stored.
  • doneOnce your baby's respiratory system is stabilized he can begin breastfeeding.
  • doneMost babies born 35-37 weeks usually can go straight to breastfeeding.

Mom & Dad Intract with Baby

  • doneTouch your baby as much as possible. You can do this through gentle touch or even stroking motions.
  • doneTalk to your baby. Your baby is used to your voice(s) and it could be comforting to hear you. Along with talking you can read or sing to your baby.
  • doneChange your baby's diaper.
  • doneParticipate in your baby's first bath. Depending on your baby's progress, you may use washcloths or sponges to do this.
  • doneTake your baby's temperature.

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