Miss Brighton pageant winner overcame a difficult start in life – premature birth risks

David Silva thanks teammates after son’s premature birth

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Born at just 26 weeks, weighing less than one pound, the parents of Danielle Evans were told that their daughter’s chance of survival was slim. “I was given a five per cent chance of survival,” said Danielle. “By the grace of God, I beat those odds, which is great.” Danielle added: “While my health is reasonably good, I do suffer from long-term health conditions with my lungs.

“I sometimes find it difficult to talk, and walking on hot or really cold days, I really struggle.”

In addition to wining the pageant, the 25-year-old is passionate about playing rugby.

“I’m a plus-sized woman, I have curves. It doesn’t matter what your weight, height or religion, you can do anything whether it be sport or pageants,” she stated.

Danielle hopes to “encourage people with disabilities or health issues” to “try and go out and do things”, she told The Argus.

Health risks of being born prematurely

Tommy’s, the pregnancy charity, outlined the potential health problems and disabilities in premature babies.

A baby born before 37 weeks is considered to be premature, the NHS stated.

The NHS added: “It’s possible for a baby to survive if born at around 24 weeks of pregnancy.”

Tommy’s added that premature babies are more likely (but not guaranteed) to experience hearing, vision, movement, learning and behaviour issues.

The Mayo Clinic pointed out that the earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk of health complications.

Babies born before 25 weeks are classified as “extremely preterm” while those born before 32 weeks are “very preterm”.

Those born between 32 and 34 weeks are considered “moderately preterm”, whereas “late preterm” babies are born between 24 and 36 weeks.

Premature babies are more likely to be:

  • Smaller in size, with a disproportionally large head
  • Sharper looking and less rounded features
  • Fine hair
  • Low body temperature
  • Laboured breathing and respiratory distress
  • Lack of reflexes for sucking and swallowing, leading to feeding difficulties.

Long-term complications might include cerebral palsy, impaired learning ability, hearing loss, dental problems, and developmental delays.

“Premature babies are more likely to have chronic health issues – some of which may require hospital care – than are full-term infants,” the Mayo Clinic added.

“Infections, asthma and feeding problems are more likely to develop or persist.

“Premature infants are also at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”

It’s not only how early a baby is born that could increase the risk of health complications.

A baby’s weight is also a factor in the development of short-term and long-term issues.

Women who give birth to pre-term babies will often require a longer hospital stay.

This is to monitor the health of the mother and baby more closely.

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