Sunday, March 10th, was World Parents of Premies Day. Having a premature baby is very daunting, more so in countries like India where there is no support network for parents of premature babies. Also, the understanding of the concept of prematurity is lacking in the majority of the population.
Premature babies belong to 3 categories. The first group is late premature babies (between 34 and 37 weeks) who stay for a day or two in the hospital and most of them do well with no major problems. Coping with these premature babies is relatively easy as many parents don’t even realize the prematurity apart from the fact that some babies have a higher chance of contracting jaundice, which requires treatment.
The second group of prematurity is babies born between 31 and 34 weeks, who end up needing a week or sometimes two weeks in the hospital and most parents don’t have issues coping with them either. The third group (we call them extremely premature babies) are babies born between 24 to 30 weeks – these are the REAL premature babies with lots of potential problems and possible complications. They need critical care – they will need to spend anywhere between 5 to 10 weeks in the hospital. This requires a lot of mental, emotional and financial support for the family to cope with the unexpected.
The parents typically go through emotions in 5 stages: Why me? (the guilt phase), then anger phase where they try to blame someone – either the family or the doctor; the third phase is when the reality sinks in – when they accept the truth – and the fourth phase is when they come to terms and cope. They become anxious about the future. The fifth phase is when they keep wondering why, when, whom to tell and is the future ok for my child…..and start enjoying the baby. We, at Cloudnine, understand the trauma a family goes through when they have a premature baby, and we work to help them cope with this transition.
Watch Video on Dr Kishore Kumar about premature babies
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We really appreciate and support this ‘Parents of Premature Babies Day” initiative by Graham’s Foundation to help raise awareness of the issue and provide much-needed support to these parents.
Dr. Kishore Kumar
Founder and Managing Director, Cloudnine Hospitals