Babies who are born late preterm – in between 34 and 37 weeks gestation – will look like smaller versions of babies born full term. Until just recently, babies born late preterm were dealt with much like babies born full term. Nevertheless, research has started to indicate that late preterm babies are not precisely the same as complete term babies. A baby born at 36 weeks will have his own unique sets of obstacles and needs.
Development of a Baby Born at 36 Weeks
A baby born this time around would be thought about to be reasonably premature. His/her opportunities of survival would be excellent, though some additional care would most likely be required.
If your baby were to be delivered at 36 weeks, she will likely be in between 17.5 and 19 inches (44.5 to 48.3 centimeters) long and weigh in between 5.75 and 6.75 pounds (2.6 and 3.1 kgs).
The fine, downy hair (called lanugo) that covered your baby’s skin in the womb has actually begun to disappear, as has her vernix caseosa – the thick, waxy substance that protected your baby’s skin while she was surrounded by amniotic fluid. Your baby will inevitably swallow both some lanugo and vernix caseosa and some amniotic fluid as well. These will all integrate to form a substance called meconium, which will eventually constitute your baby’s first bowel movement.
By the 36th or 37th week of gestation, the majority of babies have actually attained lung maturity. The 36th week of pregnancy sits on the center of the lung maturity bell curve – half of the babies will have attained lung maturity at this moment, while the lungs of the other half will not grow up until later.
At 36 weeks, a baby’s blood circulation and immune system have actually been establishing for months and are finally prepared for the outside world. The baby’s digestive system is not quite prepared yet, however – your baby will not be able to eat solid foods for a couple of months to come.
Health Concerns for a Baby Born at 36 Weeks
Immediate Health Concerns
- Poor thermo guideline. Considering that preterm babies do not have actually as much kept fat as full term babies do, they tend to get cold more quickly. They burn calories trying to remain warm, slowing weight gain and making them much more vulnerable to hypoglycemia.
- Hypoglycemia. Only 0.4% of all babies suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in the first few hours after birth; nevertheless, 6.8% of preterm babies have hypoglycemia hours following their delivery. Preterm babies have actually not had the ability to store as much sugar as full term babies; thus, their blood sugar levels drop when they become cold or stressed.
- Breathing issues. 0.1% of babies born complete term will experience breathing issues; nevertheless, this number increases to 4.2% when it comes to babies born moderately preterm. Breathing issues can be either moderate or severe – they can consist of lung hypertension, transient tachypnea of the newborn, breathing distress syndrome, and might need respiratory assistance.
Concerns in the First Few Weeks
- Sepsis (Infection). Because the body immune systems of moderately premature babies are not totally developed, these infants are more at risk of infection than full term babies are. Reasonably premature babies are more likely to need to have actually blood attracted order to test for infection; they are also more likely to need treatment with antibiotics.
- Jaundice. Only 2.5% of full term babies have jaundice that’s severe enough to require phototherapy, whereas 18% of late preterm babies need treatment for jaundice.
- Feeding Issues. Babies born reasonably premature have the tendency to burn out quickly; thus, they might not be strong enough to drink formula or breastmilk in order to gain weight. Not consuming enough milk can cause dehydration. They are likewise at risk of breastfeeding failure, which may cause their moms to start producing less milk and therefore being unable to feed their babies at a later stage.
Taking Care of a Baby Born at 36 Weeks
Though your baby’s placement in the NICU (neonatal extensive care unit) is necessary to his/her survival, you may discover the experience heart-wrenching. You will, of course, be fretted about her health, however you may likewise feel as though you are losing out on the experience of holding, breastfeeding, and typically bonding with your baby in the hours after delivery.
Caring and Holding
In order to best handle the stress of this experience, spend as much time with your baby in the NICU as her condition (and yours) allows. Even if you’re unable to hold him/her, aim to touch your baby as typically as you possibly can. Many NICUs will enable parents to do skin-to-skin look after their babies once it’s ended up being clear that your baby does not require any significant assistance for his/her organs. As quickly as you’re given the go-ahead from your doctor, begin to gently touch, cradle, and hold your newborn baby.
As soon as your doctor tells you it’s okay, you can begin to feed your baby born at 36 weeks. Your nurses will inform you everything you need to understand about breast or bottle feeding strategies, depending on your baby’s needs.
Some babies born premature might require intravenous fluids, or fluids delivered through a feeding tube that goes from their nose or mouth into their stomachs. Nevertheless, your breast milk offers your baby the best possible nutrition, as it provides him/her with antibodies and other substances to enhance the immune system and help ward off infection.
In some cases, you might discover it difficult to nurse premature babies at breasts. If this is the case, you may try pumping your breast milk into a bottle or tube for easier feeding. When your baby has the ability to breastfeed straight, encourage your baby to nurse regularly, as this will increase your supply of milk.
Once your baby is breathing on his/her own, preserving a proper body temperature, putting on weight progressively, and feeding at your breast or with a bottle, he or she is all set to come home!
What Is It Like to Have A Baby Born at 36 Weeks?
- I gave birth to my son at exact 36 weeks. He weighted 4lbs 13oz and spent 10 days in the NICU due to episodes of apnea. Today, he is a pleased, healthy 7 months old!
- My son was born naturally at 36 weeks. At birth, he weighed 6lbs 1oz. In the beginning, he had a little difficulty preserving oxygen levels, however he was released rapidly and he went home, where he was simply great for a week. Then, he was admitted back into the health center due to low oxygen levels. For the previous 12 weeks he’s been on a small amount of oxygen at home and he’s been doing splendidly.
- My daughter was a 36 weeker. She weighed 6lbs 13oz and only needed to invest a couple of hours in the NICU due to hypoglycemia. During the first couple of days she also experienced drawing problems and had some problem controling her temperature, but she’s great now!