Monday February 18, 2019

Premature Babies And Their Care In Hospitals

Judy Campbell, a lactation consultant, says because of the team's success, calls from mothers with preemies has nearly quadrupled.

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Premature babies
Low Cost Study Has High Impact Results For Premature Babies. VOA

No one knows exactly why some babies are born prematurely, but some of the smallest premature babies weigh under 1,500 grams. These tiny babies — called micro preemies — can’t afford to lose an ounce. At Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, a team of specialists has come up with a plan to give these babies the best chance to live and thrive.

When Vanessa Ohakam gave birth to her son, she was only 24 weeks pregnant. Vanessa was terrified. Her newborn J.C. weighed just a little more than 736 grams or about one and a half pounds.

“I couldn’t even change a diaper I was so nervous and anxious. He just looked so frail. But the nurses were very supportive and encouraging.”

Ohakam and J.C. were lucky. J.C. was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington during the course of a nutritional study.

A team of specialists at the hospital’s NICU, the neo-natal intensive care unit, wanted to see if they could help J.C. and other very small premature babies boost their weight and improve their chances to thrive.

Michelande Ridore is a health care administrator who leads the team.

“Preemies, in particular, have high incidents of malnutrition as well as poor development,” Ridore said.

As Ridore explained, these premature babies have so little body fat, they can’t afford to waste energy. Some are in blanketed incubators to encourage sleep so they don’t move around and burn calories. The team focused on what — and when — the babies ate.

Caitlin Forsythe is the lead nurse on the study.

Tokophobia, premature babies
The team emphasized mother’s milk.Flickr

“We noticed that a lot of our practitioners (doctors) and the way that they were providing feedings for very low birth weight babies, those are babies weighing 1500 grams or less, that they were being fed different ways,” Forsythe said.

The team wanted to standardize the nutrients in what the babies are fed because medical literature shows it helps babies thrive. Wherever possible, Forsythe said the team emphasized mother’s milk.

“That’s what’s best for the premature babies. They tolerate it better, and it has great antibodies,” Forsythe explained.

Judy Campbell, a lactation consultant, says because of the team’s success, calls from mothers with preemies has nearly quadrupled.

“We know that mother’s milk has growth factors in it that can’t be replaced with any other substance,” Campbell said.

Tokophobia, premature babies
Maternity benefits under PMMVY are given to all pregnant and lactating mothers. (VOA)

The team standardized nutrition practices to include fortified donor breast milk for babies whose mothers couldn’t provide their own, fortified mother’s milk and formula, depending on each baby’s needs. Forsythe said she is pleased with the results so far.

“We have been able to put protocols in place so that there’s a standardization of care. We’ve also increased the amount of mother’s own milk we’ve been providing for the babies which is great,” Forsythe continued.

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Ridore said there’s a marked improvement in the babies ability to thrive, “We were able to improve their weight by 30 percent.”

The team isn’t quite done. They want to tweak the existing nutrition practices to see if they can improve their results. Once they are finished, they will publish the results so other micro-preemies can benefit, too. (VOA)

Next Story

Study Claims, There Should Be Treatment Options Given for Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. 

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Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. Pixabay

Though miscarriage is a traumatic experience for both parents, resulting in feelings of loss and grief that in some cases can lead to anxiety and depression, women experiencing miscarriage should be offered a choice in the treatment they receive, suggests a study.

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies.

Although guidelines recommend trying to resolve an unsuccessful pregnancy naturally, the new analysis shows that this is only successful in 70 per cent of cases, and potentially comes with complications that are rarely communicated to patients.

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Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach,” Wattar added. Pixabay

The study from the University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London, demonstrates little to no difference in medical effectiveness in resolving an unsuccessful pregnancy between medical and surgical options.

Thus, the team recommend the doctors to offer women a choice of treatment options for miscarriage to enable them to make an informed decision that takes account of potential uncomfortable side effects, long waiting times and extended periods of recovery.

“What we have to do is provide women with evidence about the benefits and effectiveness of each treatment option and potential side effects so that they can choose what they feel most comfortable with,” said lead author Bassel Wattar from Warwick Medical School.

“Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach,” Wattar added.

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Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. Pixabay

For the results, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the team reviewed 46 trials involving over 9,000 women who experienced spontaneous loss of pregnancy (miscarriage) before 14 weeks gestation.
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During a miscarriage, the body will aim to resolve the unsuccessful pregnancy naturally but conservative treatment can be painful with increased bleeding, increased likelihood of hospital admission, reduced quality of treatment and reduced satisfaction.

However, surgery which include electric vacuum aspiration, and medical treatment with a tablet were found to have similar effectiveness in treating miscarriage as conservative treatment. (IANS)