By: Emmanuel Oti Acheampong.
A Specialist Pediatrician at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Agyeiwaa Bonuedi, says chronic conditions like Diabetes and Hypertension are maternal factors that contribute to premature birth or preterm.
Speaking on some causes of Preterm or premature births, Dr. Agyeiwaa said, the causes can be divided into maternal and child factors. Maternal factors like diabetes and hypertension when not properly controlled, may result in the fetus coming out earlier than expected.
She indicated that other factors like urinary tract infections and malaria can also lead to premature births when they are not well treated during pregnancy. The intake of alcohol, hard drugs and smoking when pregnant can lead to premature births.
She added that there are chances for premature babies to survive with the use of incubators and the use of the skin to skin contact which is termed as the “kangaroo mother care”.
The kangaroo mother care allows mothers and fathers to put babies directly on their chest and wrap them with clothes. This skin to skin contact, she says, makes babies feel the mother or father’s heart beats and it provides warmth to the baby.
Dr. Agyeiwaa advised mothers with preterm babies to give the babies their support.