Baby Born at 35 Weeks: Causes, Complications, Treatment & Care

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Usually, the gestational period of 37 to 42 weeks in a pregnant woman is considered normal. Such women deliver healthy babies who are known as term babies. But in case, if the gestational period lasts for less than 37 weeks then the baby is called, pre-term or pre-mature baby. Such babies not the comparison to term babies, are weak and not completely developed. Therefore, it is important to take care of their survival.

In this article:

Causes of Childbirth at 35 Weeks
Complications Seen in Babies Born at 35 Weeks
Treatment for Pre-term Babies
Care of Premature Baby at Home
Survival Rates of 35 Weeks of Babies
Pre-Term v/s Term Babies
Ensuring the Due Date
Risks at 36 Weeks Delivery

All You Need to Know about Baby Born at 35 Weeks

Causes of Childbirth at 35 Weeks

Premature delivery could be caused due to :

  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Cervix is short
  • Presence of uterine septum and a smaller size
  • Complication related to placenta separation
  • The onset of chronic illness which triggered delivery such as, hypertension
  • Drug abuse, smoking, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy

baby born at 35 weeks

Complications Seen in Babies Born at 35 Weeks

Pre-mature babies often develop following complication soon after their birth :

Jaundice

Since the babies are premature, their organs are still underdeveloped. Spleen is one of the most important organs in the body is among them. In premature babies, it is often found less effective in the process of Red Blood Cells. Normally the life span of RBCs is 120 days but in neonates, it is only 90 days. Thus, RBCs die at a faster rate. The spleen is responsible for clearing up the dead RBCs from the body but in premature babies due to underdevelopment they cannot. This often leads to jaundice and if left untreated then this could involve CNS resulting in encephalopathy.

Infections

Antibodies from the maternal body are not transferred to these premature babies. This makes it more tough for these babies to fight against the harmful bacteria and viruses, they come in contact during delivery and after delivery. Along with this, they also have a low birth weight. The risk of infections increases in premature babies.

Breathing Issues

Babies born at 35 weeks of gestational age do not have developed lungs. This is because the surfactant essential for the developed lungs is not formed till yet. The surfactant plays a major role in reducing the surface tension of the alveoli, to prevent the lung collapse. Such babies are often kept on ventilators until the lungs develop completely.

Weight Gain

Premature babies are usually low birth babies i.e. often weigh below 2.5 kgs at birth. These babies struggle to gain weight to lead a healthy baby life.

Feeding Problems

The suckling and swallowing reflexes may develop at the time of 35 weeks of gestation in the baby, but the baby cannot coordinate between them. Therefore, feeding a premature baby is not an easy task for a mother.

Hypothermia

To maintain body temperature, brown fat accumulation is required. Normally, this brown fat accumulation takes place in adipose tissue of the body. This fat helps in maintaining the temperature. But in the case of premature babies, who have low birth weight also tend to have a lower amount of brown fat. This results, in the inability to maintain body temperature. Such babies develop hypothermia and are often kept in incubators and radiators to maintain the warm body temperature.

Treatment for Pre-term Babies

Monitoring Vitals

It is important for doctors to record all the vitals of the baby such as heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure and more. Any variation to these can be considered harmful to the life of the baby.

Respiratory Support

During breathing, additional oxygen can be delivered to the baby through nasal prongs. In the case of very low oxygen levels, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure ) is provided. This enables air to enter the lungs of the baby every time the baby breathes.

Gastric Tube

If the mother is not able to feed the baby properly due to improper coordination of reflexes in a premature baby then a tube is directly in the stomach of the baby. This tube helps in feeding the baby properly in order to help to increase the weight.

Ultraviolet Radiation

Due to increased chances of jaundice, it is advised to put the baby under UV rays. These rays help in the breakdown of the RBCs and the functioning of the liver.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

WHO suggests, it is important for the mother to make the skin to skin contact with the baby to establish a bond between the two and provide adequate warm temperature to the baby.

Care of Premature Baby at Home

It is essential to provide more attention and care to premature babies not only at the hospital but also at home. Following are some tips to help :

  • Babies should be covered all over to avoid any heat loss and major concern should be taken during winters
  • Feeding habits should be strictly taken care of to increase weight.
  • Rooming-in is a must for the mother.

Survival Rates of 35 Weeks of Babies

99% of babies born at 35 weeks of gestational age survive. With an ample amount of care and support the 35 weeks old pre-mature can be turned into healthy term baby

Pre-Term v/s Term Babies

Pre-Term Babies: Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation with poor organ development. Also known as premature babies.

Term Babies: Babies born between 37 weeks to 42 weeks of gestation with mature organ development. Also known as mature babies.

Ensuring the Due Date

The doctor needs to know the expected date of delivery. One can easily calculate it by adding 40 weeks to the first day of the last menstrual period. If it comes out to be around 40 weeks then the baby born is mature.

Risks at 36 Weeks Delivery

  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome is the most common risk
  • Jaundice
  • Hypothermia
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Developmental delays

Conclusion

Babies born at 35 weeks of gestation are at risk of developing complications but with the advancement of science, babies could easily survive and live without complications. Proper care and support can give a better life to them.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549211

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721566/

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