Premature birth can cause lung and breathing problems, including:
- Weak chest structure with flaring of lower ribs
- Asthma, a health condition that the affects the airways and causes breathing problems
- Respiratory infections including pneumonia
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (also known as BPD) this is a chronic lung disease that causes the lungs to grow abnormally or to be inflamed. Over time, the lungs usually get better, however a premature baby may have asthma-like symptoms throughout life
- Low aerobic capacity (tires easily)
Premature birth can also lead to:
- Intestinal problems, sometimes caused by a disease that affects premature babies called necrotizing enterocolitis also called (NEC). This disease affects a baby’s intestines. While most babies with NEC get better, some may have intestinal problems later in life.
- Delivery of blood supply to the intestines is also afected by breathing quality
- Prematurity shortens the time the foetus spends in foetal breathing which is vital for the development of the lungs and diaphragm.
- Immature breathing at birth affects the baby’s overall development because the breathing organs also affect circulation, posture, movement, speech development, emotional development and immunity.
- This is why breathing quality matters to to children born prematurely
Breathing has a central and dynamic relationship with circulation, and oxygen delivery which affects all organ development including the brain and the abdominal organs
- Breathing also affects posture, limb coordination, sleep quality, digestion and sound production.
- Adults born prematurely are known to have low aerobic capacity compared with those born to term.
- Improving breathing is therefore an important step towards reducing or eliminating both the early and long term negative effects of prematurity.
- Babies and children with a history of prematurity will benefit from receiving TST ‘massage’ therapy for a period of between 3 to 12 months depending on the medical history.