Preterm & Newborn Care Frequently Asked Questions
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Commonly Asked Questions for Preterm & Newborn Care
A premature baby, also known as a preemie or a preterm baby is medically classified as a child born at 36 weeks or less which roughly is 8 months and a two weeks into the pregnancy. Preterm babies are classified as late preterm at 34 to 37 weeks, moderately preterm at 29 to 33 weeks, and extremely preterm at 23 to 28 weeks. At 35 weeks the baby has reached around the size of a cabbage or a cantaloupe and is about 18 inches long, weighing in around 5 pounds. Though the baby has finished forming their kidneys and lungs they still run a high risk for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
The medical treatments of premature babies will always vary on when the baby was born, how far developed they are, and what issues they are suffering from. Most often preemies will stay in the hospital and spend time in an incubator or underneath a bilirubin light to ensure that they are being kept in a warm environment and being properly monitored for any medical issues. In some extreme cases preterm babies may require having a blood transfusion or even a feeding tube till the baby is ready to come home. Because respiratory problems are such a huge risk to preemies, it is highly recommended to learn infant CPR before or during the early weeks after the baby is born.
There is no set time for how long a new born premature baby stays in the hospital, however the most common rule of thumb is the earlier the baby is born, the longer they are required to stay and finish necessary developments. When a preemie is required to stay at the hospital after birth, they will be held in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where they can safely receive the treatment they need to stay healthy. The average time a premature baby will spend in the NICU before they come home ranges on the low end of 2 to 3 weeks to in extreme cases a few weeks past their own expected birth due date.
More often than not premature babies will suffer from breathing and respiratory problems due to them not having fully developed their lungs and immune systems. Unlike babies born at 37 to 40 weeks, preemies need extra attention, because they are at a much higher health risk and also cannot easily keep a regular healthy body temperature. Preemies usually run the risk of getting meningitis or pneumonia in their early weeks of life. Preterm babies can also suffer from hearing or vision problems which is why it is so important to make sure that they get the extra care they need when being brought into this world. If you feel that Pediatric Associates of Frisco is the right place for you and your little one or ones, we welcome you to call us today at (972) 324-3366 to schedule a consultation. We are available from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays, 9 am to Noon on Saturdays, closed on Sunday. You can find our Pediatric Clinic at 9191 Kyser Way, Suite 405 Frisco, TX 75033. Though we are located in Frisco we also serving the children of Prosper, Little Elm, McKinney, The Colony, and Plano Texas. We here at Pediatric Associates of Frisco look forward to helping you and your baby have the healthiest lives possible.