Chennai, Nov 18:
On the World Prematurity Day, Actor Vivek launched the book titled ‘Parenting Preemies’ authored by Dr. DeepaHariharan, a senior neonatologist in city.
This book written by DeepaHariharan to raise awareness of prematurity, methods to prevent premature delivery, and to empower parents to provide the best care for their child.
Any baby born before the 37th week of pregnancy is premature. However, the extent and stage of prematurity matters. While all preterm babies require complex medical care, a baby born 3 to 4 months early is at far greater risk than a baby born 1 to 2 months early.The majority of babies born before 30 weeks of pregnancy require treatment with oxygen, surfactant and mechanical assistance to help them breathe. Mothers cannot hold or feed babies at this stage, and the uncertainty of survival can be traumatizing for the family. Even if neonatal mortality is avoided, premature babies face a host of potential complications and lifelong disabilities.
“Premature infants are at elevated risk for problems with learning, communication, emotional regulation, and social bonding.
They can also suffer from long-term problems with hearing or vision, motor defects or learning disabilities. Growth-restricted premature infants are at greater risk of developing diabetes or heart problems later in life,” commented Dr.Hariharan.
“Given the seriousness of prematurity, the first step is to raise awareness for its prevention. Parenting Premies addresses pre-pregnancy health, gestational diabetes, hypertension, maternal stress and improper diet, all of whichcan contribute to premature delivery.
In addition, simple lifestyle measures and precautions such as eliminating smoking and alcohol consumption, getting regular exercise and eating healthy can go a long way in avoiding prematurity.”
Intensive care is most required in the first hour of a premature baby’s life – also called ‘
the golden hour.’ Proper treatment provided in the hour dramatically improves infant survival and health, as well as the lifelong productivity of the individual.
No degree of future treatment can compensate for inappropriate therapy in the golden hour. Dr.DeepaHariharan emphasises the role parents play in choosing the right care for their baby, “Many preemies require care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Parents should be mindful of the fact that an NICU not only requires state-of-the-art technology and equipment, but should also have a complete team that works in sync – neonatologist, specialist nurses, paramedics, consultants – in partnership with the parents!”
Dr.Deepa dedicated her book to the parents of premature babies, saying, “I often see parents who fight against all odds for the survival of their baby – and this book is a resource to empower them to make that miracle happen more often.”