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Premature Babies and Health Problems: Debunking 5 Common Myths – Expert Explained | health news


If a baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, they are referred to as premature babies. Because they haven’t had enough time to grow and develop as much as they did before they were born, premature babies often have some health problems and may need extra care. However, most preemies – with special care – grow up to have a “normal” healthy life but Dr Sarujan Topal, Consultant – Paediatrician, Manipal Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, points out, there are several myths regarding premature babies. It is also necessary to be aware of possible health complications and take appropriate action.

Premature babies: Are they prone to health problems?

“According to the National Institute of Health, about 12% of babies in India are born prematurely, commonly called preterm birth. This is a growing concern among the Indian population and public health awareness is needed to improve the treatment of mothers and premature deaths in the country,” shared Dr. Topale. Dr. Topal says that premature birth can lead to persistent medical problems such as premature growth, cognitive decline, vision or hearing abnormalities, and an increased chance of chronic illness later in life. He adds, “Early detection, timely treatment, and early intervention are crucial in terms of their long-term outcomes. can greatly benefit from access to programs.”

Doctors say that because of their early birth, premature newborns, commonly referred to as preemies, may face certain medical problems. “Unfortunately, parents as well as other caregivers may misunderstand their condition and become overly nervous as a result,” she says, adding that it’s essential to dispel myths about premature babies.


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Debunking Myths About Preterm Babies

Dr. Topal debunks the following myths about premature babies.

1. Myth: Mothers who gave birth prematurely could have avoided premature birth

Facts: According to the World Health Organization, about half of preterm births are due to unknown causes. This is the reality. After giving birth prematurely, preemie parents often feel tremendous guilt and spend a lot of time criticizing themselves for failing their children and failing to provide for them.

2. Myth: Serious long-term health problems are expected for premature babies

Facts: Although premature birth increases the chance of certain health problems, many preemies lead healthy lives. Medical advances in neonatal care and technology have greatly improved outcomes for preterm babies. Most preemies can thrive and lead normal lives with the right care and support.

3. Myth: All premature babies will be severely disabled

Facts: Not all premature babies will suffer from severe disabilities, but they are more likely to have certain medical conditions and developmental problems. In India, many premature babies can lead healthy lives if they receive proper treatment, early intervention services and caring attention.

4. Myth: Maternal lifestyle choices are the only factor that contributes to preterm birth

Facts: Preterm birth can be caused by lifestyle factors including smoking, drug abuse, and poor nutrition, but in countries like India, several other variables such as socioeconomic status and inadequate healthcare are more important.

5. Myth: Premature babies will suffer from brain damage or learning difficulties

Facts: Although learning difficulties or cognitive deficits are possible in certain preterm infants, they are not a given in all prematurities. Developmental delays may be less likely with supportive environments, specialized schooling, and early intervention programs. Many preterm infants grow up to be successful academic and professional adults with no cognitive deficits.

“In order to dispel myths and provide appropriate support and care, it is important to understand the facts about premature babies and their health. By dispelling these myths, we can develop more empathy and understanding for parents of premature babies and ensure they are getting the help they need to grow. need,” said Dr. Srijan Topal.