Protecting newborn babies—especially those born prematurely— should be a top priority in any healthcare system. But public policy and insurance standards don’t always provide for proper prevention against some of the greatest threats to preemies.
While all newborns are highly susceptible to infectious diseases, premature infants are even more at risk. Essential growth and development, particularly of the immune system, occurs throughout pregnancy. Thus, children born prematurely are less able to fight infection because they do not benefit from the additional passage of their mothers’ antibodies during their final weeks in the womb.
Preemies often have underdeveloped airways as well, which can further complicate any infection they contract. Their weaker physical condition enhances the likelihood of additional co-morbidities and their overall ability to endure health challenges. For all of these reasons, public policies and insurance practices must help to prevent infections so every baby has the chance to thrive and grow.