Premature Infancy Essay

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Premature Infancy

Premature babies, otherwise known as preterm babies, or preemies, are babies that are born earlier than the full-term of thirty-eight to forty-two weeks of pregnancy. These babies are generally born between the twentieth and thirty-eighth week. Almost 250,000 babies, nearly seven percent of newborns, are premature(Golant 4). Prematurity, even with all the advances in technology, is still a major cause of fetal and neonatal death. Actually, around seventy- five percent of perinatal deaths are due to a number of problems associated with prematurity(Freeman 232). Premature babies are very weak and defenseless, and need to be hospitalized. One reason for this is that a baby may become startled into shock
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Not wearing clothing helps make it easier for the doctor to work with the baby and keep the skin's stress levels to a minimum. Even though the parents may want to hold and cuddle their baby, it is best for the child and the parents if they keep to a minimum the handling of a preemie.

Doctors are trying to figure out ways to prevent premature labor from occurring. Through a drug called Ritodrive, doctors have been quite successful in prolonging the pregnancy until the thirty-sixth week(Griesemer 15).
Although successful in many cases, doctors are still very skeptical on whether or not women should take any form of drugs while they are pregnant. In the past, there was a belief that the placenta protects the unborn baby from all drugs, bur just recently studies have shown that many drugs can be passed from the mother to the child. Another reason which drugs are not regularly administered to upcoming mothers is that it is very difficult to determine how drugs will actually act on the fetus, since test results can vary so differently from person to person, and also because these results are very unpredictable. For this reason, women are rarely prescribed drugs while pregnant, unless when needed or under the care and supervision of their doctor.

Caring for a premature baby can be very tough for parents at times.
Since they are urged not to handle the baby much, it