Pretoria – Premature babies’ health can cause a lot of strain and stress for the parents who need immense support and a lot of information during the early crucial stages of the baby’s growth.
During a visit to the Medforum Private Hospital, one of the patients Dora Mabula spoke to Pretoria News about her experience after giving birth a couple of months before her due date.
She said even though she was a nurse for over 10 years she was still deeply concerned about her baby’s condition.
“My son is doing extremely well at the moment and we have been blessed with a little strong fighter even though I was worried at the beginning, but as the days went on I started to see improvement and decided to stay positive to transfer the positive spirit to my baby,” she said.
The facility’s paediatricians and obstetricians gathered expectant mothers at the hospital and hosted a lunch to spread awareness and commemorate World Premature Day.
Medforum Private Hospital’s Dr Katya De Campos explained prematurity was a big public health concern because it brought a heavy burden on the parents in terms of emotional pain and suffering.
She said premature babies had a high mortality rate and is one of the leading causes of death of children under five years.
“Some of them turn out to have cerebral palsy, vision and hearing impairment, learning problems, chronic lung disease and quite a lot of other complications. Sometimes all of these conditions can also have a financial burden on the parents,” she said.
She advised mothers who gave birth prematurely to keep a positive mind and get enough information from the experts at the hospital who are always readily available to equip the mothers with whatever they need.
She added that visits to the paediatrician were very important and that every step of the child’s growth and development needed to be tracked.
Associate professor at the North-West University, School of Nursing Science Professor Welma Lubbe is turning awareness into action by the national research project that she is leading to implement neurodevelopmental supportive care in South African neonatal intensive care units.
“Let’s address the lack of adequate community-based and healthcare professional support. Anyone who has given birth prematurely understands how scary it can be so consider sharing experiences with other families struggling with prematurity,” she said.