This month World Prematurity Day was observed on November 17th. The date marks a very important milestone for many parents who have undergone the phase of having premature babies in their lives. The date aims to raise awareness about the issues associated with preterm birth. It also spreads information about how to help and support affected families.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide. Hence it is of utmost importance of giving the right care at the right time
Here’s a story shared by this inspiring mum -Priyam Bortamuli who’s a marketing professional and a mum to a young toddler. Priyam has been working in healthcare industry for over a decade. However when it came to her turn to go in for an early delivery, she remember the moments getting anxious. Recalling a few moments of the journey, Priyam shares with Mums and stories the phase that required her to be strong for herself and the baby. She also has a few words to share for newbie parents who are presently facing the premature journey with their baby.
“I was working all through my pregnancy, till the day I delivered. I had to special care with regard to my BP. Apart from medications and salt and balanced diet, I had to really work on the stress levels. I used to maintain a BP log book in my phone, and made a note of my BP readings thrice a day and show it to my doctor at every visit.
A week before I delivered when the BP was fluctuating, I was put under home monitoring. This device helps in keeping track of the baby’s heart rate which is called as the fetal heart rate and baby movement. Any variation in the fetal heart rate & movement, the doctor used to get a message alert. In my case, she did get alerts which were alarming and hence planned to give steroids to ensure the baby’s lungs get developed quickly as in prematurity, that’s the most crucial factor. By the 7th month while all the organs in the baby develops, it’s the lungs which develops at the end. So, if the doctor has any inkling of premature delivery, in most cases, steroid injection is given to the mother. I must say my doctor was quite proactive in managing my situation.
While I have heard several such stories earlier, seen babies in the NICU, but when I had to face this situation, I did not know how to react. I became as ignorant as any lay person could be. What we hear and read is totally different from what we experience. Until this happened to me, I could never relate to such parents and their babies. But now I feel a strong bond when I come across any mum who had a premature delivery. Even now when I visit the hospital for work and peep inside the NICU and see a mother gazing over her tiny one in the incubator, I make a point to walk up to them, talk to her, and tell her your baby will be absolutely fine and share my story. “
Giving a note of reassurance Priyam says to newbie parents, particularly mums, “To the mums who are handling preemies now – I know it’s really tough to go through this phase, but once you have your baby in your arms, feed her, play with her, run behind her, you will forget this phase. Preemies are extremely strong and determined, more than you and I can imagine. They see the world much before than the other babies do, hence they understand more and are fighters. They just need their parents to be with them staying positive wait for the time to pass. This phase shall pass soon!
And to those who might have this possibility – just be positive and stay calm. If you deliver in a good place with a great Neonatal Care facility, you are in the best hands and will get all the support. You just need to stay calm, trust the doctors and believe in power of positivity.
What used to happen during our mothers or grandmother’s days’ may not be applicable in today’s time. Times have changed and so has the physical, emotional and other needs of individuals. We tend to judge a child’s growth on the appearance – thin or fat, weight, height, how much hair the baby has etc. People tend to judge women who go for a C-section sec saying she cannot bear the pain.
I think it’s an individual’s choice to do what they want. There has been a lot of talk on C-section. Sometime doctors are blamed and sometimes it’s the mother who is questioned. But nobody cares to delve into the medical aspect, why the delivery had to be done through a certain method.
Caesarian is just a method of delivery. With regard to breast feeding again many mothers are judged. “Oh! you never breast fed your child! What kind of a mother she would be! A mother is a mother, whether she breast feeds or not. Yes, breast feeding is extremely essential for a baby’s development. But if the mother had complications post-delivery and for some reason the baby had to be put on bottle feed, doesn’t matter. She is not leaving the baby hungry, right?
Essentially, the problem is we tend to form opinion about people, situation, circumstances without trying to know the truth. If we stop being critical about our surrounding, people and circumstances, I guess a lot of issues could be resolved without much effort.”
Mums and Stories thanks Priyam for sharing this inspiring journey with our readers.