Healthbeat 4: November is Prematurity Awareness Month

”It was nerve racking knowing you know, this isn’t what we had planned with either of our children. "
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 9:53 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Parents wish for a happy, healthy baby during pregnancy -- but one Siouxland doctor said that moms aren’t always guaranteed a full-term pregnancy.

Wes and Emily Hinnah experienced not one, but two premature births. Their son, Hudson, and daughter, Addison, were both born at 37 weeks, almost making it a full-term birth.

“Definitely got easier the second time around. A lot of the doctors and nurses just were like you guys act like pros. Like you’re okay with this. I’m like, No, I’ve just been there a lot,” said Wes Hinnah.

Those final weeks are crucial, according to Dr. Al Fleming with UnityPoint Health Clinic.

“Every day in the uterus, as I say is three days less in the intensive care nursery... the earlier the preterm delivery, the higher the morbidity and mortality for the baby. Later, preterm deliveries between 34 and 37 weeks tend to do better, obviously, for baby and for mom,” said Dr. Fleming, director of maternal-fetal medicine.

For the Hinnah Family, Hudson spent a week in the NICU, and Addison two weeks until they were ready to come home.

Dr. Fleming said premature delivery has a variety of causes and symptoms, but he said anyone can be at risk.

Emily was at risk since Hudson was her first baby, and at risk again with Addison since she had already delivered preterm.

“Anybody who gets pregnant for the first time is at risk because she’s never had a baby before. So, that discussion should, should be had about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor, which can be very subtle. For menstrual-like cramps, low back pain, and pelvic pressure, we tell patients it feels like babies pushing down the vagina. The symptoms can be constant, they can come and go. Vaginal bleeding is a symptom. Any bleeding can be associated with preterm labor to a change in vaginal discharge and increase in discharge,” said Dr. Fleming.

Today, mom and dad said their children are happy and healthy. They have a message to share with expecting parents.

“I would just say to moms, dads, parents, and family members, don’t be afraid to be in the NICU. We’ve had great experiences and you should know that you’re gonna get taken care of and get the best care that you can here in Sioux City,” said Emily Hinnah.