Were you born before your mother completed 37 weeks of gestation? In case your nodding states a yes, you are at risk of developing various health complications. Every year, around 15 million babies are born preterm globally, says the World Health Organisation. According to this international body, around 1 million children under the age of 5 died due to preterm birth complications in the year 2015. And, three-quarters of these deaths could have been prevented with timely intervention. So, it is important to be aware of the signs of complications associated with preterm birth and the ways to tackle them on time. Here we will tell you about them.

Hearing loss

A baby’s lungs develop completely at the end of the third trimester. This means that babies born before time can experience breathing problems because of the immature lungs. Additionally, they lack surfactant which is required for the baby’s lungs to expand. This may lead to the development of respiratory distress syndrome. Preterm birth can also make children susceptible to complications like sleep aponea, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or frequent pauses in breathing.

Hearing loss

During preterm birth, a baby may experience fluid retention or inflammation in the middle ear that can lead to damage in the nerves of the inner ear. This can potentially impair the baby’s hearing capacity or make him completely deaf.

Heart problem

According to a study published in the journal Circulation, being born preterm increases your risk of developing complications like high blood pressure, patent ductus arteriosus, and cardiac arrest.

Weak muscles

Babies born prematurely usually have weaker muscles in adulthood, says a study conducted at the University of Oulu. According to this research, taking birth before 37 weeks of gestation makes you lack in physical fitness. This condition can also lead to improper blood flow in the body, which can further cause cerebral palsy, a neuromotor disorder.