We have shared a few of the causes of prematurity. We also did say that sometimes, however careful you are, prematurity could still occur. No one plans to have a preemie. When a woman gets pregnant, she makes plans for when the baby will be born at term. These plans are turned upside down, indeed, your life would take a different turn that moment. It takes different people different length of time to overcome the emotions that come with watching your baby battle to stay alive. Some lose the fight, some live with varying degrees of certain complications, some others live healthily. Outcome also has a role to play in the recovery process for mother, father and older children, where there are.
It takes much more to care for a preemie than for a baby born at full term.
All babies should not be exposed to cold but TEMPERATURE CONTROL is a CARDINAL RULE. This is because PNEUMONIA is one of the major causes of neonatal mortality and PREMATURE BABIES ARE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO PNEUMONIA. Whereas babies born at term develop internal temperature control, not so with preemies. They rely on other method of temperature regulation. The farther from due date a preemie is, the more reliant it is on ‘others’ for sustenance. Incubators are essential for preemies way too soon.
KANGAROO MOTHER CARE is a proven cost effective method of regulating a preemie’s body temperature. The baby is placed on its mothers bare chest and wrapped with a robe to tie mother and baby together (as illustrated in the pictures below). Apart from regulating body temperature, KMC fosters mother and child bonding as their hearts beat in unison. Apart from temperature control, KMC helps to modify heart rate of preemies.
The name is derived from the way a mother-Kangaroo carries its young in a pouch in front of it.
Do note however, that KMC has to be initiated by a health worker in a hospital environment in preparing the preemie get into the outer world.
To effectively control your baby’s temperature, you should know its normal body temperature. Take a measurement of this temperature at home using a digital thermometer which can be bought at any pharmacy store.
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS. THIS INFORMATION MAY HELP SOMEONE YOU KNOW. READ, DIGEST AND SHARE. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO WILL READ.
Petra Onyegbule is the executive director and founder of Tiny Beating Hearts Initiative.