As Love Island's Malin Andersson reveals her heartbreak at month-old daughter's death, why are some babies born prematurely?
Love Island star Malin Andersson has opened up about losing her newborn daughter at just a month old.
The baby girl, which the reality TV star named Consy, was born seven weeks prematurely in January.
She weighed just 5lbs and needed resuscitating straight after birth.
Just a few weeks later her mum revealed in an Instagram post that she had lost her first child after the little girl picked up a virus she was too weak to fight off.
Alongside a picture of Consy in hospital with tubes being fed into her body, she wrote: “My angel. Rest in peace.”
The 26-year-old has bravely spoken about the heartbreak experience in a new interview released today, and revealed that her newborn’s death had caused her to contemplate suicide.
“It was a few days after she died when it sunk in and I didn’t leave my bed, racking my brain to come up with reasons why I should carry on living,” she told The Sun’s Fabulous magazine.
“My mind was going crazy, but I just had to use every bit of strength I had left. I knew I didn’t want to waste Consy’s precious life.”
READ MORE: Malin Andersson marks first Mother’s Day since death of baby daughter
What is a premature birth?
A baby is ‘premature’ or ‘preterm’ if they are born before 37 weeks, according to charity Tommy’s.
Each year in the UK an estimated 60,000 babies – or around seven to eight per cent of newborns – are born early.
Malin’s baby was ‘very preterm’ because she was born between 28 and 32 weeks.
Those who arrive before 28 weeks are classed as ‘extremely pre-term’, while those who are delivered after 32 weeks are considered ‘moderate to late preterm’.
If a baby is born early, they may not be fully developed and therefore may require extra care.
READ MORE: Malin Andersson creates self-help app after daughter’s death
What are the symptoms of a premature birth?
If you are pregnant, there are certain signs that could indicate you are about to go into labour early.
According to Tommy’s, these are…
An increase in pelvic pressure within the vagina or rectum.
An increase in discharge and/or a gush/repeat trickling of fluid, which could mean your waters have broken (preterm premature rupture of membranes).
Bleeding or losing your mucus plug.
Period type pains in your abdomen or lower back. These may have a rhythm or be constant.
READ MORE: These are seven things you should know about having a premature baby
Why are some babies born early?
The reason for a premature birth is often unknown or unclear, say Tommy’s.
However, doctors do know that having an infection or cervical incompetence – a medical condition where the cervix begins to widen and thin – can increase the risk.
Carrying twins, triplets or more can also increase the likelihood of going into labour early.
A quarter of pre-term births are planned because doctors have identified that the mother or baby is suffering a life-threatening condition such as pre-eclampsia, kidney disease or growth restriction.
READ MORE: This is the heart-warming moment identical twins meet after a month apart
Will a premature baby survive?
Medical advances mean that many pre-term babies will now survive, according to Tommy’s.
But whether a baby will make it through depends on the point at which they were born – and complications that come from a premature birth are the leading cause of neonatal death in the UK.
These are the chances of survival for a pre-term birth depending on the point at which a baby is born…
Less than 22 weeks is close to zero chance of survival
22 weeks is around 10%
24 weeks is around 60%
27 weeks is around 89%
31 weeks is around 95%
34 weeks is equivalent to a baby born at full term.
For more information or advice on premature births visit tommys.org