Best Life: Doctors put premature birth myths to rest

Updated: Nov. 19, 2019 at 7:20 AM CST
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PHILADELPHIA (Ivanhoe Newswire) - A preterm birth is a birth that takes place before the 37th week of pregnancy. Going into preterm labor can be shocking and scary for parents, but some common preemie myths can be cleared up.

About one in 10 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. There can be feelings of guilt and confusion for parents. But what is fact and what is fiction?

Myth 1: You caused this.

In Reality up to 50 percent of preterm births have no known cause.

Myth 2: Preemie babies will grow up normally.

Doctor Michal Elovitz, director of the Maternal and Child Health Research Center says it depends on how early they are born.

“So, a 24-weeker may survive, but its chance of having really severe neural development disability is quite high,” said Elovitz.

Even babies born a few weeks later may have issues.

“So, what we’re finding now is kids that are born even at 30 or 32 weeks or 34 weeks have neural development problems as well. They may not be as severe, but they are present,” said Elovitz.

Myth 3: You can’t bond with your baby while in the NICU.

Participate in skin-to-skin contact, read to them and help with feeding and changing diapers if possible. And leave behind items from home that have your scent.

Even though 50 percent of preterm birth are unexpected and not caused by the mother, there are risk factors to be aware of.

Having pregnancies back to back, being pregnant with twins, having high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking or being underweight or overweight are some signs you might be at risk for preterm labor.

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