Surviving Across High Risk Period Of Your Newborn


Almost all of us make merry when a newborn is added to us. But do you know around 30% of total newborn babies do not survive within their 28 days? The high risk period of newborn babies are their first one hour, first day, within first 7 days and 28th days respectively.

Surviving Across High Risk Period of Your Newborn

Around 140 million babies are born every year globally. As per WHO, 2.5 million babies died within one month of their birth in 2017 approximately 7000 per day. Out of the total 2.5 million deaths 1 million babies died on the first day and near about 1 million within 6 days. Most babies do not survive within the first one hour and first day of their birth due to reasons like fatal conditions and complications during pregnancy, and problems during labour and birth. (1) (2)

The babies, who survive the first one hour, continue to struggle under high risk infections due to low immune and exposure to hazardous circumstances. The neonatal newborn death rate is normally high during the first 7 days and it continues till its 28th days. Your baby falls under the category of “newborn” till its 28th days and so under serious threats of survival. (2) (3)

Eventually, the survival struggle of your newborn affects the baby throughout its infanthood (first one year), childhood, and entire life. Therefore protecting your newborn against all vulnerabilities is crucial in providing a stable health all through his/her life.

This article provides you an overview of pregnancy and labour/birth related complications, infections, and other threats to your newborn which you necessarily need to know well in ahead. Your ignorance or a little late in addressing the problems may be disastrous for your newborn and for you as well.

Pregnancy, labour & birth related complications:

In-fact, pregnancy, labour and birth related complications are many both known and unknown. That’s the reason people believe in fate and destiny, and doctors say “we treat but God heals”.

Secondly, all infant and newborn deaths are complex and interrelated. They are related with pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy situations, postnatal conditions etc.

However, there are two basic points doctors discuss a lot but parents less concerned are (1) the early term delivery; and (2) late term or post term delivery.

  • Early term delivery: Or commonly known as premature birth of a baby is a delivery before or between 32 to 33 weeks of pregnancy. Each newborn baby under early term delivery has high risks of RDS, TTNB neonatal jaundice, sepsis, hypoglycaemia, and essentially requires prolonged and intensive hospitalization. (4)

The long term impact of premature birth and related complications are delay in mental and physical development, poor growth, stunting, cerebral palsy, disorder in learning, psychiatric disorder etc. (4)

  • Late term delivery: Many of us do not count late delivery a problem. A delivery which goes beyond a moderate delivery period of 39 to 40 weeks, and occurs more than 41 weeks is a late term delivery. (4)

The late term delivery children (like the children under premature birth) normally fall prey to metabolic dysfunctions like hypothermia, immunology related problems, hypoglycaemia etc. Eventually, the long term effect include low intelligence, late in language learning, failure in school and inadequate academic achievement, problem in behavioural approach etc. (4)

Newborn infections and complications:

  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS): RDS is one of the killer complications mostly seen among premature newborn. The disease appears within 48 to 72 hours of newborn and can kill the baby if not addressed immediately. RDS gets severe if the newborn is under any infection or any heart related complication. (5)

Your newborn feeling acute breathing difficulties is the basic symptom of RDS. Besides this your baby may turn blue or may have unnatural sounds while breathing. You need to immediately contact the doctor and supply oxygen for your baby’s breathing. A little late in addressing the problem may kill the baby. (5)

The reason of RDS is insufficient surfactant in the lungs. Surfactant is a liquid substance produced in the lungs which keeps the air passages open and helps the baby breath in. The surfactant is produced as soon as the fetus gets 26 months in the womb. (5)

  • Transient Tachypnea of Newborn (TTNB): The TTNB is another respiratory complication but not as disastrous as RDS. However the complication is enough to create panic situation. TTNB is caused by amniotic fluid deposit in the lungs of your newborn.(5)

In-fact amniotic fluid surrounds your baby in the womb and protects it as a cushion, and contributes baby’s growth. Eventually, baby’s lungs are full of amniotic fluid in the womb and supposed to be emptied during labour and by the pressure of birth canal.(5)

However, if for some reasons the amniotic fluid does not get released from the lungs, then the newborn gets breathing difficulties. The TTNB lasts for one or two days and vanishes. Nevertheless, you need to necessarily bring this to your doctor’s notice because every minute of your newborn is delicate and risky.(5)

  • Neonatal Sepsis: Neonatal sepsis is a serious newborn infection which can kill the baby if not addressed in time. Neonatal sepsis can infect the newborn within 24 hours to 48 hours. This is caused by bacterial blood infection like pneumonia, meningitis, gastroententeritis, pyelonephritis etc. (5)

The bacteria causing neonatal sepsis are Listeria, E coli and streptococcus strains, HSV etc. The newborn gets the bacteria before or during the delivery. Your baby will get severe fever once it gets infected with bacteria. You are required to keep your newborn under direct supervision of your doctor once the baby is infected. (5)

  • Neonatal Jaundice: Neonatal jaundice turns the colour of your baby’s skin and eyes yellow and often results with excess sleeping and poor feeding of the newborn. Neonatal jaundice is caused by accumulation of bilirubin which if raises can be neurotoxic and can cause death of your newborn. As soon as you find symptoms of neonatal jaundice in your newborn you need to immediately bring it to the notice of your doctor. (5)
  • Hypoglacemia: Hypoglaccemia appears when the newborn’s glucose level drops down to 30 mg. This can happen within 24 hours of the baby’s birth. The reasons of hypoglacemia differ. Premature newborn are more affected by hypoglacemia and maternal diabetes are responsible for this.(5)

You will notice jitteriness in your newborn and blue colouring of its body. Its body temperature will drop and will have respiratory problem. You will have to immediately consult your doctor if you notice hypoglacemia in your baby. (5)

neonatal newborn death rate has been brought down substantially by conscious efforts around the world. The primary awareness has to be generated among the mothers so that each and every newborn survives. Moms, right from pregnancy should be conscious of the high risks of their babies and act accordingly.

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