Wednesday April 24, 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.

0
//
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.

Also Read: Novel Blood Test May Predict Autism Risk in Babies During Pregnancy

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

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

0
smoking
The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)