Preterm birth complications still leading death cause for kids under 5 | Health And Family, Lifestyle Features, The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — In the Philippines, an estimated 15 million babies are reportedly born before they complete the 40 weeks of gestation required for a normal delivery.

While technology has advanced to allow doctors to provide the best possible treatment for preemies, preterm birth complications are still the leading cause of death among children under five years old. It has been the cause of almost one million deaths in 2015—three-quarters of which could have been prevented through various interventions that mothers and medical practitioners should be aware of.

On June 22, at Shangri-la at the Fort, Pampers Philippines hosted an intimate media event to begin the conversation on premature birth in the Philippines. Alongside the screening of a video in collaboration with film genius Pepe Diokno, Bambi Borneo, President of the Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines, Inc., spoke about the realities that preterm birth present.

“Preventing complications from preterm birth, of course, begins by making sure that you have a healthy pregnancy. But for whatever reason that preterm birth occurs, know that there are essential care guidelines that you can do to ensure the strength and development of your baby,” said Borneo.         

The first months of a baby are the most delicate and crucial stage in their lives. It is important that parents consider not just the practical aspects—like proper medical interventions—for the newborn, but also the emotional ones. For instance, something as simple as providing comfort through skin-to-skin contact, often referred to as “kangaroo mother care,” is critical to development, as is frequent breastfeeding.

One seemingly mundane element in the care of preterm babies covers both the emotional and functional needs of a baby: changing their diapers. The simple process of diaper changing offers parents a rare moment to connect and bond with their baby despite the challenges they are facing. Preemies have…

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