Babies born prematurely more prone to bone defects

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Preventing preterm birth remains a challenge because the causes of preterm births are numerous, complex, and not always well understood.

Although premature babies usually grow up as healthy adults, among premature baby issues are bone defects, as suggested by a new study.

Premature baby issues: Bone defects down the line

“Our study shows that both those born prematurely with a very low birth weight and those who were born full term, but small for their gestational age, had lower bone mass than the control group, who were born full term with normal weights,” said Chandima Balasuriya from Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Among the 186 adults between ages 26-28 that the research studied, 52 of them had low birth weights as babies, with a mean birth weight of 1.2 kilograms, and a mean gestational age of 29 weeks.

These findings are important since peak bone mass is a major determinant of future osteoporosis.

“Ensuring that children with low birth weights have a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein, in combination with exercise that involves weight-bearing physical activities may help reduce risk of bone fractures later in life,” said Chandima Balasuriya.

Premature baby issues: Are preterm births preventable?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preventing preterm birth remains a challenge. This is because the causes of preterm births are numerous and complex.

However, pregnant women can take important steps to help reduce their risk of preterm birth, prevent preterm baby issues, and improve their general health.

Some of these steps include quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, getting prenatal care upon the knowledge of pregnancy, and leading a generally healthy lifestyle.

Signs of preterm labour

  • Contractions (the abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
  • Change in vaginal discharge (a significant increase in the amount of discharge or leaking fluid or bleeding from the vagina)
  • Pelvic pressure—the feeling that the baby is pushing down
  • Low, dull backache
  • Cramps that feel like a menstrual period
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhoea

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