The evolution of science, medicine and technology has enabled more premature babies than ever before to survive, according to recent research. A baby is classed as premature if it is born earlier than thirty seven weeks; more than three weeks before it should arrive into the world. When purchasing newborn baby gifts, it is easy to overlook the aspects of childbirth which are not often talked about.
A Positive Rise in Figures
According to the Daily Mail, there are 40,000 premature births each and every year in the UK, one of the highest rates in Western Europe. There are many possible reasons for this, one being the rapid increase in available fertility treatment. Undergoing IVF means that a woman is more likely to become pregnant with twins or even triplets, who have more chance of being born prematurely and receiving their newborn baby gifts early. Premature babies are not only extremely small but often have underdeveloped lungs and guts. The same Daily Mail survey found that just 20% of babies weighing under a kilogram survived twenty years ago; now, happily, that figure has risen majestically to 80%. This huge rise in figures is partly due to technological advances, which aid premature baby units and hospitals massively. Measures such as ensuring a premature baby is kept warm and given the correct treatment to aid underdeveloped lungs have vastly improved available care. The increase in positive outcomes appears to continue as the child gets older. The British Medical Journal found that 34% of babies in neonatal care in 2006 were completely healthy at the age of three; whereas in 1995 that figure was only 23%.
Despite this good news, a lot more research is needed into the reasons why 15 million babies are born before thirty seven weeks worldwide every year. These figures are rising in many countries, partly due to some of the aforementioned reasons. Those of expert status in the field of childcare have suggested that stopping smoking and promoting single babies for couples who are undergoing IVF treatment could reduce premature births in the most developed countries in the world. If implemented, these measures, alongside other reasons coming to the fore through scientific research, could possibly help to reduce the number of babies born before thirty seven weeks in developed countries. There is, however, a lot of research needed to help those in less affluent countries, who do not have the same access to resources that we in the developed world often take for granted. This year, when World Prematurity Day comes around on 17 November, or when purchasing newborn baby gifts for a new addition to the family, spare a thought for those babies who have been born a little bit too soon.
Shopping for newborn baby gifts is more meaningful the more knowledge you have around the subject. Indeed, knowing some handy tips is essential with all the possible purchases available to the average consumer.
Avril James is a frequent contributor for Nappy Head the well-established and fashion conscious baby clothes and quality kids clothing. She has written many articles on children's fashion and newborn baby gifts.