What Is A Preemie?
I'm Having A Baby!
At the first sign of pregnancy a mother is overwhelmed with the idea that she is carrying a baby that will need her for every aspect of their immediate life. A baby depends on their parents for nourishment, interaction, and comfort. It is not uncommon for a mother to assume that her child will be born healthy and at full term! It is surprising when a baby is born prematurely or is considered a preemie.
What Is A Preemie?
Preemie, premature baby, or premie they are all names given to a baby born before spending thirty-seven weeks in their mother's uterus.
There are several stages of a premature baby. An extremely premature baby can be born between twenty-four to twenty-eight weeks. A very premature baby is born between twenty-nine to thirty-four weeks. And a moderate premature baby is born after having spent between thirty-five to thirty-seven weeks in the uterus. All premature babies who are born at different stages of pregnancy are very different from one another!
A full term pregnancy lasts for about forty weeks but babies can arrive between thirty-eight and forty-one weeks. Many babies that are born preemies are very healthy and can thrive and live a fulfilled life.
How Your Preemie May Look
Most preemies will have a relatively large head, it is not yet proportioned with his body. Downy hair may appear on his face and body. This is called lanugo and is normal for the stage you baby had reached in your uterus.
He will probably seem very thin and fragile to you with visible veins. As the fatty layer under the skin has not yet had time to build up, his skin will appear transparent. It is completely normal for premature babies to be thin, and the thinness is only temporary.
His skin tone will appear to be darkish red, at first, because his circulation may not be very good. Your baby's skin may also look "waxy," but this effect will disappear as he matures.
Your baby's eyes may still be fused shut. All babies have their eyes shut from about ten weeks in utero to around week twenty-six, when their eyes open naturally. Although their eyes may be fused shut, they'll have fully developed eyelashes and brows.
His small ears are floppy and do not yet spring back if they are folded down. This is because the cartilage that keeps ears in shape under pressure has not finished developing.
He has the beginning delicate buds of fingernails and toenails, and perfectly smooth foot soles, there are no creases yet.
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