The Baby may sometimes not stay in the womb for the full nine months. If the baby is born before term, or in other words, preterm, the baby would need extra special care as compared to a full term baby.A baby who is born before term would most likely weight less than two and a half kilos and a baby who is born before the completion of thirty seven weeks is actually called a premature baby.
In the case of a premature baby, he would need more monitoring and more help in feeding and breathing. The baby may have to spend some more time in the hospital.
They would be born with a relatively larger head, and the skin on the body would appear quite wrinkled as the baby would be much thinner than normal. You may even be able to see the bones and ribs and find them looking like sticks.
The baby would have movements which are more jerked. The baby may experience uneven breathing. A pre term baby may need to be kept in an incubator, which will keep it warm as it grows older. Even if your baby is in an incubator, you will still be able to touch the baby. This is especially important in growing a bond between the mother and child.
A pre term baby will be handled more by the medical team in the hospital than by you. A pre term baby is more prone to infections and may not be able to feed properly. Till the time she develops more and becomes healthy, the child may need intravenous feeding.
This does not mean that you will not be able to breast feed eventually. Once your baby is out of danger and has gained sufficient weight, and also has proper breathing patterns, you will be allowed to take the infant home and take your baby home. You will be able to start to care and feed the baby just as you would a normal baby.
Even if your baby is a special care unit, you will be encouraged to wash and change the baby, and you will also be able to stay overnight from time to time. Make use of this opportunity.