Chennai: Parvathy S. (name changed), had to go through eight abortions over the course of 15 years since her marriage. Finally, when she gave birth, it was to a premature baby (29 weeks) of 1.4 kgs, as opposed to the normal standard of 2.5 kgs. However, the family didn’t give up. The child, Sarath (6), today, runs around like other little children. Sharanya M. (name changed) gave birth to her first child of 1.75 kgs (28 weeks), after 13 years of trying. A victim of gestational diabetes, she did not give up. Her four-year-old son Sai Ganesh, has a very high IQ and is the best gift Sharanya and her husband could have. Globally, 15 million children are born prematurely each year and today premature birth has acquired the position of becoming the leading cause of death among children below age of five.
“Premature babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy and depending on the degree of prematurity, premature babies need varying levels of neo natal care,” said Dr Deepa Hariharan,
Neonatologist, Sooriya Hospital and member of the Directorial Board, Indian Foundation for Premature babies. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), India has the highest number of premature babies in the world with 3 million premature births and 3,04,000 deaths per year. With infections caused from sepsis and superbugs found to be the leading cause of premature birth, Dr Hariharan stressed on the need for infections to be prevented.
At an event to announce the launch of her book on Best Neonatal Practices of India, she said one in five pregnancies in India result in delivery of a premature baby. “Pregnant mothers should address lifestyle diseases and also avoid taking any stress when pregnant. Most importantly, infections must be prevented, to avoid any future problems in the premature baby,” said Dr Malini, a neonatal pediatrician....