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21 Week Premature Baby

What Parents Should Know When A Child Is Born Prematurely

Babies born prematurely is an occurrence that can startle any parent who witnesses their newborn emerging with a weird-looking physical appearance? Skinny to bony legs and arms, a face that displays incomplete formation and body so frail you would think they were a baby fetus is a big scare and a question mark to the survival of the little one, if they are 21-weeks old!

Premature babies are likely to be born 3 weeks or more before the pregnancy due date; the 37th week since the approximate time for delivery is the 40th week. So a baby born 21 weeks premature is as well as saying a dead baby was born. It is disheartening and can send a mother or parent into a devastating trauma. A child born in this condition is equally a victim of immense pain and uncertainty; medical experts often question parents who persist for the child's resuscitation. Their survival track records are a 30% chance, and their life normalcy is also unpredictable, but as impossible as it all sounds, there have been positive cases though. 

Understanding Premature Births

Now, understanding the nature of premature birth begins with looking at the root causes. Numerous issues could lead to this anomaly;

-  Where a mother has a history of previous premature births, it is likely to repeat. So she must observe her birthing trends.

-  Cases of infections are a huge possibility. Urinary tract infections and an infected amniotic membrane could have a negative effect on the unborn baby. 

-  Also, if the amniotic membrane; (the enclosure for the baby in the womb) suddenly ruptures prematurely, it is an issue, and it’s the same thing as an early cervical dilation (where the expectant mom begins to experience early contractions).

-  Poor nutrition, as well as poor health care, is also a factor. 

Other causes which seem ignorable are targeted at mothers who smoke and drink in pregnancy; this is the quickest way to worsen babies’ health before birth. 

With these anomalies, it seems virtually impossible for a 21-week premature baby to live, but records as far back as 2018 and further show that this impossibility is possible. They survive and can come out strong, however; the long term health of the newborn is unpredictable. 

Due to their emerging way ahead of gestation time, there may be setbacks as the baby could be born with underdeveloped lungs that cannot adequately supply oxygen to their entire body. What’s worse, the use of ventilators to such a tender body is out of the question! It is like forcing air into a torn balloon, not to mention the fragile blood vessels of the baby that could lead to cerebral palsy or a long term ailment in the grown child such as improper walking or talking. 

Takeaway

Truthfully, it’s a win-win or win-lose situation, which is why most medical experts advise against resuscitation as it's more likely to bring the baby back to life with more harmful than good reports. The neurological consequences may be severe and a threat to the child living a healthy life. 

Parents must be well-schooled and cautious about their decisions in this regard as any circumstances met must be faced and accepted by all parties. A 21 weeks premature baby born and raised from this ordeal must be nurtured to feel loved, accepted, and involved in becoming just as relevant in their ecosystem without qualms.