Monday, February 21, 2011

Mencegah Premature Labour

Ini satu situasi yang bolih mengacam nyawa bayi ketika lahir kerana sistem pernafasan belum kuat lagi ia mudah diserang sesak nafas menyebabkan bekalan oksijen tidak mencukupi.










Premature labor means babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature labor accounts for seven percent of total babies born in the UK. Though the risk for the mother is little, yet for the baby it is considerable.
Though premature labor can happen to any women, but it is quite risky for the young, single or smoking women and also those who are underweight.

Causes of Premature Labor

The causes of premature labor are not clear with 40 percent of cases. The main causes include:
Pre-eclampsia
Antenatal hemorrhage
Multiple pregnancies
Foetal abnormalities or death
Cervical incompetence
Illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease in the mother
Stress has shown to induce labor, especially when it is sudden or severe. Many vaginal infections like gonorrhoea, trichomonas, chlamydia, and group B streptococci are considered to be associated with premature labor.
Bacterial vaginosisin, in which the acidity of the vagina is changed, is also linked with premature labor. This could be possible due the reduction of the natural defenses of the body against infection.

Premature Labor Symptoms

Knowing premature labor is a challenging task. The only absolute sign of labor is the dilation of the cervix. But by this time it is not possible to stop the birth of the babay.
The challenge with premature labour is to spot it before it gets going. The only absolute proof of labour is dilation of the cervix, but by then it's too late to stop the baby being born.
Contractions of the uterus are not a sure sign of having a labor. There are cases of contractions from week 24 of the pregnancies, which are also known as Braxton Hicks or ‘practice’. Around two-third of labor cases will not deliver within 48 hours and one out of three of these women have full gestation periods.
If there is rupture of the woman’s membrane and there is loss of amniotic fluid, there is likelihood of labor as there are risks of infection. But sometimes urine is mistakenly taken for amniotic fluid and using special testing sticks give incorrect results.
The sure symptoms that show of an imminent premature birth include:
Four or more uterine contractions in one hour, before 37 weeks gestation.
Pain or rhythmic tightening in lower abdomen or back.
A watery discharge from the vagina, which may indicate premature rupture of the membranes surrounding the baby.
Menstrual cramps or abdominal pain.
Pressure in the pelvis or the sensation that the baby has "dropped".
Vaginal spotting or bleeding.

Treatment of Premature Labor

Screening of different infections mentioned above and treating them with antibiotics can reduce premature labor. The screening process must be done before the start of labor.
For stopping contractions there are drugs which can prevent in about quarter of the cases of premature labor. But these drugs hardly work for more than 48 hours. IF the membranes are ruptured, then these drugs carry some risk. These drugs are mainly used to delay delivery till the woman can go to a hospital.
During this time, there are treatments for making the baby arrive early, like drugs that help to mature the lungs. There treatments lessen the risk of complications, reducing to half the degree of respiratory distress syndrome.

Complications of Premature Labor

Babies born after 34 weeks have their systems completely matured and there is low risk of problems arising. The labor is continued in these cases. But if it is less than 28 weeks, then the babies have to be provided with neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital.
Nowadays, science has developed dramatically and babies born after 22 or 23 weeks can be survived by the doctors. There is the risk though of these babies for battling at the beginning of their life and there could be many long-term problems.
Babies who are born prematurely have the following kinds of problems:
Respiratory distress syndrome
Retinopathy of prematurity
Necritising enterocolitis
Low blood glucose
Hypothermia
Infection
Jaundice
Death

Prevention of Premature Labor

Though there is little one can do to stop premature labor, yet there are ways to reduce the risk. These include:
Stop smoking
Keep fit and healthy
Avoid excessive stress
Get vaginal infections or discharge treated
Symptoms like swollen ankles, blood loss or fluid loss should be reported

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