Prenatal Care and Preterm Births Essay

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Prenatal Care and Preterm Births In the last 20 years the hopes of survival for neonates have seen significant increase, almost all of the causes of perinatal mortality and morbidity have decreased. There is only one threat unmoved, still standing above the rest- Preterm birth. Prematurity or preterm birth is defined as the birth of any child between 20-37 weeks of gestation. Delivery prior to 20 weeks of gestation is considered a Natural abortion.1 The survival rate of low birth weight infants has significantly increased from 15-80% in the last 20 years. However, the incidence of prematurity has not seen any change, neither decrease nor increase. Currently the average incidence is 10-11%.1 There are noticeable sex and…show more content…
The main reason that the incidence has remained static is that there has been no clear definition of the chain of events that result in pre-term birth. Without an understanding of how it happens, there can be no way of stopping the process, and further, of stopping the process once it has begun being that there is no way of knowing exactly at what stage it is. There has recently been a strong theory proposed which needs to be given more attention, the prostaglandin theory. Briefly, pro-inflammatory cytokines and other immunomodulatory proteins produced by either overt or sub-clinical infection stimulate prostaglandin synthesis and release. This ultimately induces the synthesis and release of metalloproteases, which bring on cervical ripening and membrane weakening and rupture. 4 The increased survival rate with a static incidence means that there are more people with problems in society, more NICU’s being filled, more families are having to learn to live with someone that is handicapped, more problems arise with health care funding as more people have chronic health problems, and with a little creativity and a careful eye, the rest of this paper could be a list of the problems that are arising. Some known morbidities of preterm birth include Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, growth retardation, respiratory distress syndrom, decreased cognitive ability, decreased academic skills, decreased visual and gross motor
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