The birth of a new baby is a great gift to every family. Most pregnant mothers are ready to give birth at between 37-41 weeks’ gestation, which is about 9 months, counting from the first day of their last menstrual period. If a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, this is medically considered a preterm birth and is due to uterine contractions causing the cervix to dilate and the baby to be born prematurely. Preterm birth is a global problem and is a major cause of infant deaths worldwide, as well as increased risk of serious disabilities. There is also the issue of increased costs of care and treatment, as premature babies must remain in the hospital for long periods of time, which can be an additional strain on families and on the country financially.
Speaking on this issue, Nithiwat Gijsriurai, MD., Hospital Director of Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, informed us that “Preterm birth is a childbirth abnormality which statistics show its rise ranging from 10 to 12 % of babies born. Due to lifestyle changes, modern women are more likely to become pregnant at a later age which is one risk factor for preterm births, and is also the cause of a number of other problems, including infant health, economic and financial issues, and other nationwide issues,” explained Dr. Nithiwat.
“Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital places an importance on ensuring excellence in its healthcare for both pregnant mothers and their babies. We also understand the issues and concerns faced by pregnant mothers, and we therefore bring up-to-dated technology with our expertise for the prevention and reduction of the risk of preterm birth,” Dr. Nithiwat continued. “This year we have organized a symposium entitled ‘Management of Preterm Labor: The International Guidelines’, and we are honored to welcome world-renowned guest lecturer, Professor Gian Carlo Di Renzo, the Honorary Secretary of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, who will share his knowledge and experience in the care of pregnant mothers and the prevention of preterm births. The conference will also include an exhibition on prevention preterm birth and Samitivej’s 3P concept,” Dr Nithiwat added. In addition, Samitivej will be opening its Preterm Prevention Clinic for the care of pregnant mothers and the prevention of preterm births with the 3P concept:
“The Preterm Prevention Clinic with a team of OB/GYN doctors and its 7 full time Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists (MFM) will offer a comprehensive array of medical technologies for preterm assessment, diagnosis and treatment, helping mothers and newborns to be healthy,” explained Dr. Nithiwat.
Assoc. Prof. Boonsri Chanrachakul, MD, PhD., Head of Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit, Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, said regarding the preterm birth condition that “Each year approximately 15 million children are born prematurely, or 1 in every 10 newborns worldwide. In Thailand, the rate of preterm births is over 12% and is found most commonly in mothers under 17 or over 35 years old who are extremely underweight, have a history of previous preterm deliveries, twin pregnancy, and have uterine abnormalities or congenital uterine anomalies; in mothers with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease. Daily lifestyle can also have effects resulting in preterm births as well, for example, mothers who smoke or are second hand smokers, drink any kind of alcohol, are overworked or are stressed. It has also been found that twin pregnancies, bleeding during pregnancy, weakened cervix, and urinary tract infections can all be causes of preterm births.” Dr. Boonsri explained how the medical technologies are adopted, “An ultrasonic cervical length measurement performed at between 16-24 weeks’ gestation is an important assessment for the risk of preterm birth, as women who are found to be at risk can take preventative measures using administration of progesterone medications, cervical pessary placement and cervical cerclage, all of which can be effective in the prevention of preterm birth. As there is currently no treatment guaranteed for preterm birth, risk factor assessment and prevention are therefore important steps for all pregnant women to take.”
Samitivej Hospital was founded in June, 1979, and is currently one of 43 members of the prestigious Bangkok Hospital Group, a leading private hospital network in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia, that provides world-class healthcare of the highest medical standards, with quality accreditation both within Thailand and internationally by the American Joint Commission International or JCI. At present, there are six hospitals in the Samitivej Group: Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, Samitivej Children’s Hospital, Samitivej Sriracha Hospital, Samitivej Thonburi Hospital and Samitivej Chonburi Hospital.