Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Did you know? {A few premature birth facts}

Did you know that in an average week in NC, 325 babies are born preterm, 59 babies are born very preterm, 229 babies are born low birth weight, and 43 babies are born very low birth weight (VLBW).  Claire was considered to be very preterm and very low birth weight at 29 weeks and at 3 lbs 2 oz.  Very preterm is considered less than 32 completed weeks.  Very low birth weight is considered less than 1500 grams or 3 1/3 lbs (Claire weighed 1420 grams). 

Did you know that the specific causes of preterm birth are largely unknown?  Approximately 1/4 of all preterm births are the result of medical intervention (meaning early C-sections or early induction as "preterm" is considered less than 37 weeks) and the remaining 75% of preterm births occur spontaneously.  Research shows that the most consistent risk factors include a history of preterm birth, current multifetal pregnancy (multiples), and some uterine and/or cervical abnormalities.  Other risk factors may include infection, diabetes, hypertension, late or no prenatal care, smoking, alcohol and drug use. 

Did you know that "prematurity is the leading cause of newborn death and a major determinant of illness and disability among infants, including developmental delays, chronic respiratory problems, and vision and hearing impairment" according to the March of Dimes?  Preemies can easily develop Retinopothy of Prematurity (ROP) which is a vision impairment.  ROP is abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of the eye in a premature infant.  You can read more about ROP here.  Luckily, Claire did not develop ROP.  She will go back in December to have her 1 year eye exam follow up and hopefully everything still looks good. 

Just trying to continue the awareness of premature births during Prematurity Awareness Month!  All information was taken from the March of Dimes Foundation. 

The Scott Family

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