Caring for Premature Babies - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Caring for Premature Babies

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World Prematurity Day is recognized on November 17.

Every year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States.

Natasha Green recently gave birth to her son, Taylor, at 32 weeks.

If a baby is born four to six weeks early, complications can occur...

This includes respiratory problems, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities.

This is Natasha's second premature child so she understands the extra care that is needed.

"It's difficult when they have to stay in the hospital and you have to come back every day to see them and spend time with them and with feeding. They all go through different steps before they're able to go home and so just making it through those steps," says Natasha Green, Mother of Taylor born at 5 lbs. 7 oz.

Nurses say these steps begin right away with prenatal care being the most important.

But even when pre-term births occur, Natasha is one mother who is thankful for the technologies available to her child.

"Things have changed completely. We use different medications. We use different ways to oxygenate and ventilate our babies. We have different feeding techniques that we didn't use 10 years ago, 13 years ago. So things now, outcomes for preemies are way better than they used to be," says Keeta Knaup, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Sanford Health Bismarck.

According to the March of Dimes North Dakota Chapter, since 2006, North Dakota's preterm birth rate has decreased from 12.1 to 9.9 percent.

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