Developmental Care of Premature Babies

17th of November is World Prematurity Day. World Prematurity Day was founded in May 2010 in New York by The European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), Little Big Souls International Charitable Foundation for Africa and March of Dimes, US. This post is written to generate some awareness about this topic of premature births.

The problem

Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation period are termed as Premature Babies. The journey towards full term pregnancy and having a healthy baby is a dream of every parent! But what happens when due to unavoidable circumstances the baby decides to arrive early? Anxiety now overtakes the feeling of joy. The child is separated from the mother and placed in incubator. It has been proved medically that one day in mother’s womb is equivalent to 10 days of medical care! Each passing day becomes agonizing for the parents.

Some statistics

WHO has this data about preterm babies; over 60% of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia. The 10 countries with the greatest number of preterm births:

  • India: 3 519 100 
  • China: 1 172 300 
  • Nigeria: 773 600 
  • Pakistan: 748 100 
  • Indonesia: 675 700 
  • The United States of America: 517 400 
  • Bangladesh: 424 100 
  • The Philippines: 348 900 
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo: 341 400 
  • Brazil: 279 300 

India, which features in the list of fast developing countries, leads the world list of premature baby deaths. There are many reasons for this. Many of them are at mother’s end. But once the baby is delivered prematurely how it is handled and taken care of too contributes to the high numbers. Poor infrastructure in hospitals and unavailability of life saving tools specifically designed for such tiny babies are some of the causes for the high premature infant mortalities.

The solution

Prematurely born children grow up with some noticeable physical deformities and more often with mental health issues too. These children are more often at the risk for attention deficit, attention deficit hyperactive, anxiety and sometimes emotional disorders too. Imagine a 25 week child being pricked with needles for several tests. Won’t the stress level be high right from that age?!

Providing gentle containment, supportive boundaries and flexed positions help to simulate the womb that was lost prematurely. By minimizing stress and pain, safeguarding sleep, protecting skin and optimizing nutrition, NICU caregivers can enhance the daily experience of the infants in their care and increase the chances of achieving optimal physical, cognitive and emotional outcomes. 50% of deaths of premature babies can be prevented with feasible, cost-effective care, better management of neonatal infections, providing the “Kangaroo Mother Care”, proper feeding support and improved thermal care.

PHILIPS has stepped in to this arena of “Developmental Care of Premature Babies”. They have come out with a range of products for Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). Their healthcare products help in proper positioning. Better care increases the survival chances for the baby. Some of their products are:

  • SnuggleUp – The foundation of positioning, the unique design of the pocket mimics the elasticity and resistance of the uterine wall, allowing the infant to extend the legs, foot brace and come back into a flexed position. 
  • Bendy Bumper – Bendable positioning aids that stay in place. 
  • Frederick T. frog – Versatile, frog shaped beanbag positioning aid to help achieve developmentally supportive positioning. It may be placed strategically to support head, neck, shoulders or hips. 
  • Prone Plus – The Prone Plus utilizes the natural force of gravity to assist in proper prone positioning and ventral support for hospitalized infants. 
  • WeePee Diapers – WeePee diapers are specifically designed for premature infants to provide the right fit as well as comfort. 
  • Breast Pumps – PHILIPS AVENT’s range of breast pumps and accessories have been designed to help mothers who may need an alternate solution to breast feeding. 
  • VIA Cups – A versatile, space saving storage system designed to grow with the baby. 
  • Nipplette – The Nippelette quickly corrects inverted nipples and has proven to be a permanent solution for both cosmetic purposes and normal breast feeding.

PHILIPS with its innovations has made up so much for the lack of readiness in the part of hospitals.

Conjoined Twin Separation by Apollo Hospital Chennai
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29 Responses to “Developmental Care of Premature Babies

  • It's sad, it's amazing that there are still SO many premature babies and so many deaths!! I have to admit that while I have been aware of this, I had no idea the numbers are SO high!! I was fortunate to carry all four of mine full term — even though I had been warned that I would probably never be able to have a child at all!! Of course, that just made me all the more determined. A sad, but very informative post for the day, Indrani! Thank you!!

  • Welcome Indrani!
    In your post you showed a very important topic.
    It is sad that so many premature babies died.
    Greetings from Polish far.

  • Very important news Indrani.

  • This is such an important topic and glad you dwelled light on it. God bless those little babies. .

  • Thank you for bringing this often overlooked problem to our attention.

  • OMG..India has the highest number of Premature Babies.. 🙁
    I am glad you shared this..Parents,Society as well as Indian Government must take necessary steps to minimize the number of Premature Babies if not completely eradicate this problem..

  • Good to see you write on such a sensitive subject so efficiently. My daughter was born in 36 weeks and luckily she didn't have any problem and could stay in a bed from the day she was born. I guess more awareness needs to be created among aspiring parents.

  • It's painful to see the stats. The initiative is appreciated.

  • I had no idea this was such a problem in Africa and South Asia. Terrible indeed.

  • Very important topic and well written.

  • True facts and what India lacks is the medical treatments and instruments though the quality of doctors are good. And moreover, the evil of money hinders such needed improvements too.

  • sad news. but you highlighted a very important cause. hopefully private sector/NGO step up their efforts.

  • Whoa ! Din't know a single thing about prematurity ..Haven't come across any premature babies v..Thank you for sharing this useful info 🙂

  • Very informative and lovely post dear 🙂

  • That's an important tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sadly India is leading the list..
    May All BE WELL soon. May there be no Premature babies in this age at all.

  • The statistic numbers are so alarming to see.

    My niece-in-law, giving the fact that she lives in America, has just delivered a very premature baby..

  • A matter that really needs attention! Thanks for the awareness 🙂

  • Thanks for the comments friends.

    Hi Icy BC, hope your niece and her child is doing fine!

  • Very informative post. Thanks for sharing this awareness.

  • Well, hard to believe but true, we top the list. Seriously, there are many factors now a days and I remember that even at the time my kiddo born we had the same feeling, every day passed with anxieties. When we crossed the 37th week, there was sigh of relief. He was born in 39th week and I still remember him being kept in NICU for 1 day under observation due to fast respiration nothing major though. It was hard reality to come across that so many infants were there and they were like father was looking after the child, mother was some other hospital. Most of them had same stories and I was thanking my stars for choosing the right hospital but mother was still separated from the child which was sad part of the whole day. wish most of the hospital get equipped with such instrumentation soon in INdia.

  • Very few bloggers actually write on such serious and important topic…Probably because , not too many people might like reading about it…But I must say this is one nicely drafted post…Thank You so much for writing on this…

  • Loved the way ! Informative and elaborative. Good thing is u have stated problem clearly and given the solution. Nice initiative by Philips 🙂

  • Hi DOW, glad you both as parents came out happily from the situation. Well equipped hospitals are indeed the solution to this problem.

    Thank you Soham for the compliments.

    Thank you Paresh, Philips indeed is doing a great service to medical world.

  • Having a premature baby is stressful for the mother and the baby. India I think tops this list because everyone other than the mother is an expert and if the baby is premature then they will go around blaming the mother. Looking into the root cause and actually finding a solution is never done. Glad that you brought up the issue and there are brands like Philips which are thinking of reducing the stress to the mother and the baby. I guess all a mother wants is the best for her babies. And very happy to see that Philips and their range of neonatal care products are aimed at just that.

  • Hey indrani..nice to read a different post from you. Fortunately my daughter stayed full term. Did not know quite s bit of the information you provided. And the products as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great information !!
    Good initiative by philips !!

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