What may happen if your baby is born this week
If your baby was born this week they would be classed as very preterm (rather than extremely preterm).
If your baby is born now, the medical conditions associated with severe prematurity become less serious. But they will still need specialist care in the neonatal baby unit.
It’s unlikely that babies born now will have severe breathing problems requiring intubation in the delivery room. They will still need help with their breathing. Instead, they will have small prongs into their nostrils or a mask over their nose connected to a machine (called ‘CPAP’) that provides air or oxygen with pressure to make the effort of breathing easier for them.
Your baby may be given some medicine into their lungs, called surfactant, to help with their breathing.
The healthcare team may recommend caffeine treatment to help reduce or treat apnoea. Apnoea is a common condition where a baby may pause their breathing for a variable amount of time.
It’s still important to prevent hypothermia, at birth they will be placed into a plastic bag up to their neck to help keep them warm and protect their fragile skin, on the neonatal unit they will be placed in an incubator.
They will need a thin tube passed through their nose or mouth into their tummy that milk can be given through. They will also need fluids (a ‘drip’) through a thin tube into a vein (intravenous or IV line).
Your baby will also be tested and may be treated for infection.
Your healthcare team will monitor your premature baby closely to make sure they receive the best possible care.
If you have any questions about your pregnancy or risk of premature birth please talk to your doctor or midwife.
You can also call the Tommy’s midwives on on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or email us at [email protected].