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What problems do preemies experience after birth?
Q: What are the most common problems associated with having a preemie?
A: Prematurity is the leading cause of problems for the baby, the most worrisome of which involve the baby’s lungs. Many preemies have difficulty breathing. This happens because a preemie’s lungs are “stiff”, and it is hard to get the air into the right part of the lung where oxygen can be used properly. Special equipment called ventilators help push oxygen where it needs to go to help the baby until its own lungs are ready to take over.

Early babies are not good eaters, either. They are quite small and it takes a lot of their energy to feed. Many times, they are given intravenous fluids and small amounts of breast milk or formula until they are ready to eat.

Special nurseries care for premature babies. These facilities offer the baby the best technology we have to offer. I have discussed this issue in greater detail in “Where Will Your Baby Be Delivered: Important considerations for choosing a hospital”.