Taking Care of Premature Baby


Most pregnancies last up to 40 weeks. But if your baby is born before the 37th week, then he or she is known as a pre-term baby. However, nowadays around 9 out of 10 premature babies survive and are mostly continuing to develop normally.

Almost 14 percent of the babies in India are pre-term or premature babies. Around 27 million babies are born in India every year. And among these 27 million approximately 3.5 to 4 million babies are born prematurely.

However, if your baby is premature or pre-term, then he or she will face weight loss. Your baby will weigh below 2.5 kgs and will need NICU care immediately.

Why babies are born premature or pre-term?

Mostly, the mothers who do not have proper nutrition before or during pregnancy and suffer an infection give birth to a pre-term baby. However, almost 80 percent of the babies are born within the 32-37 week. But if your baby is born before the 32nd week, then your baby will face some complications. In this case, your baby will weigh less than 1-1.5 kgs and will need NICU care.

Problems that a premature baby face

If your baby weighs between 1.8 to 2.5 kgs, then problems in feeding, jaundice, sugar fall, breastfeeding will arise. Usually, in this case, your baby will recover within 5-7 days. But if your baby weighs below 1.8 kgs, then the duration of stay in NICU might become longer.

What happens if a baby is weighing below 1.5 kgs?

However, if your baby weighs below 1.5 kgs, then he or she will need immediate NICU care. In India, there is only 10-15 percent of these babies fall under this category. The common problems that your baby will face are:

  1. Low body temperature
  2. Decreasing sugar level
  3. Low blood pressure
  4. Breathing problems
  5. Bleeding inside the brain
  6. Digestive problems

The survival rate of the pre-term babies

If your baby weighs between 1.8 to 2.5 kgs, then your baby has 98 percent chances of surviving. However, if your baby weighs between 1.5 to 1.8 kgs, then there are 90 to 95 percent chances of survival.

On the other hand, if your baby weighs below 1.5 kgs, then the chances of survival are 85 to 90 percent with special care. However, nowadays in India, the NICU care facilities are improving day by day. So, less the babies weighing less than 1 kg are also surviving. Approximately, 60 to 70 percent of the babies who weigh between 800-700gms are surviving.

What can reduce the chances of survival in a pre-term baby?

The certain conditions where there are lower chances of your baby’s survival are:.

  • Immature lungs
  • Breathing problems
  • Bleeding in brain
  • Infections
  • Digestion problems

However, the main reason in India for which most of the babies don’t survive is because of infections.

Ways to improve the survival chances

If you want to increase the survival chances of your pre-term or premature baby, make sure to choose the best NICU care. If your baby is premature, then make sure your baby is shifted to the NICU unit immediately after delivery.

Why MgSO4 and steroids are important for a premature baby?

If MgSO4 and steroid injections are given to you, it helps in increasing the survival chances of your baby up to 60-70 percent. The symptoms that a pre-term babyfaces can also be prevented by using these steroids.

Essential care for pre-term babies

There are certain medications that you need to give to your premature baby at the initial stage after giving birth. These medications will require a professional and well-equipped NICU care team. This is also called a level 3 NICU in which your baby is kept under ventilation and may also need CPAP.

Precautions and care that a mother needs to take Make sure to use a hand wash while touching or handling your pre-term baby. Also, another treatment is the KMC procedure, which improves the outcome of the premature baby.


Survival as well the follow-up treatments, both are necessary for pre-term babies. Make sure that you take immense care of your premature baby for 2 years after birth. In these two years, the brain growth, eye growth, and working of the other organs are to be properly observed and taken care of.

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