Premature Babies Development And Health

List and description of health problems that preemie babies face after birth

Most babies are born after a forty week duration in the womb. They weight around six, seven or eight pounds on average and are healthy. Usually, all vital organs and systems are fully-functional. But there are many babies who are born before they are due because of one reason or another. Some babies weigh as little as two and a half pounds and are no bigger than the size of an adult's palm. These babies are not fully functional and need hospital intervention to help them survive. This is very difficult for new parents who were expecting a healthy baby after the full forty weeks of waiting. Their dreams are put on hold while they wait for their tiny baby to become strong enough to leave the hospital and come home.

Premature babies, or preemies, often have health problems common because of their low birthweight. These problems are becoming more and more successfully treated. New breakthroughs in treatments are happening every day. Your pediatrician will have more information about updated treatment if your preemie has any of these conditions.


Lungs lack elastic properties causing them to collapse with each breath taken.

RESULT-Babies have to work harder and harder to breathe.

ACTION-Babies are given air pressure through nasal tubes to keep their lungs from collapsing for about three to five days.


Chronic lung disease caused by long-term oxygen administration and ventilation.

RESULT-Babies need increased oxygen, have a slower weight gain and have spells of apnea.

ACTION-Increase caloric intake and restrict fluids.


Low blood sugar

RESULT-Can cause brain damage and retardation if not treated.

ACTION-Normalize sugar levels.


Caused by an excess of bilirubin in the blood.

RESULT-If untreated, it can cause permanent brain damage and even death.

ACTION-Phototherapy under an ultraviolet lamp. Mild cases can often be treated outside in the sun.


Periods of breathing cessation that last longer than fifteen seconds.

RESULT-Slowing of the heart rate.

ACTION-Heart monitoring

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