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Every year, about 65,000 babies are born prematurely in France, a figure that continues to grow. It is estimated that prematurity affects 8% of births, against 5.9% in 1995. For parents, a premature birth is always particularly difficult to live. Explanations in 5 points.
1. What is premature birth?
- It is a birth that occurs before the normal term of pregnancy is 40 to 41 weeks. The WHO (World Health Organization) defines as premature any birth occurring before 37 weeks of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). There are four stages of prematurity: the small prematurity (from the beginning of the 33rd SA to the end of the 36th), the great prematurity (between the 28th and the 32nd SA), the very great prematurity, and the extreme prematurity. The limit of viability of a baby, below which it will not be resuscitated, is fixed at 22-23 weeks of amenorrhea and at a weight of at least 500 grams.
2. What are the causes of premature birth?
- They are multiple. In the first type of prematurity - spontaneous prematurity, when work is triggered spontaneously - we often find infectious causes. The second type of prematurity is a decision of the obstetrical team because of risks to the mother and the child. In this case, premature birth most often occurs in the context of severe maternal hypertension, severe growth retardation in the baby, or maternal bleeding. It accounts for nearly 45% of deliveries before the 33rd week of amenorrhea.
3. What's going on in parents' heads during an early birth?
- One often underestimates the enormous guilt felt by the mother, and the couple. "But what could I do to give birth so soon? How can I be a good parent when I could not carry my pregnancy to term? What will happen to my baby when he grows up? ? "All these questions invade parents who also live as a test the fact of not being able to really live this meeting with the baby that is a birth: no skin with immediate skin, no care to give, but a baby whose we are separated by sophisticated medical machinery. Parents have the impression of not welcoming their baby, missing important moments.