The Hazard of Premature Baby Lung Development

The Hazard of Premature Baby Lung Development


Premature baby lung development is surely one of the biggest worries for parents of such infants.

We normally say babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy are premature - or "preemies" for short. For all practical purposes such babies has not reached full development. About 12% of all babies are preemies.

Almost all premature babies have some apparent health problems - of which inefficient lungs are the most dangerous. Premature baby lung development is perhaps the most nagging problem facing a preemie.

Your baby's lungs are one of last organs to fully develop and remain primitive and immature to the very last. So, infants born prematurely have "underdeveloped" lungs. It's almost like expecting fruit from a tree you only planted 6 months ago. The tree didn't have time to develop fully, thereby being unable to produce the fruit you're expecting.

Here are some of the main reasons for deficient lungs in unborn babies:

  • The surface coating that keeps the lungs together will not form, even after delivery,

  • The air sacs in the lungs are usually formed last - continuing even after birth; and…

  • In any infant, the number of air sacs is very low and limiting.

The unborn baby in your womb never needs air for breathing. The placenta exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the umbilical cord. The lungs are therefore filled with amniotic fluid right through the pregnancy. Soon after birth your baby takes its first gasp of air. And immediately following, the lungs should be able to expand and the air sacs fully inflate with air.

The most pressing health hazard of premature babies is the incidence of breathlessness or asphyxia, which often requires emergency treatment. Here, all liquid that is trapped within the airways is removed and replaced with fresh oxygen.

Asphyxia in babies has been related to very low birth weight, delayed deliveries, and flattening or twisting of the umbilical cord during labor.

Another dangerous symptom among premature babies is the Hyaline Membrane Disease, when the lack of surfactant lining in the lungs becomes very low, thus preventing the alveoli from functioning in a normal manner.

In most cases preemies are nursed in an incubator where fresh air and higher temperature is provided. In emergencies artificial respirators can be used to pump fresh oxygen to expel the locked liquids and matter.

Premature baby lung development problems is a very specialized medical field. My suggestion is to raise your concerns with a specialist rather than trying to sort things out yourself. Obviously, for more background information on premature baby lung development you can always click this link to read more.

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