Babies are considered full term if they are born between 37 and 42 weeks, however, if your little one is born sooner, then they’re considered premature. The closer your baby’s birth is to your due date, the better her chances of thriving, not just surviving.
Here are 10 facts about your premature baby:
Your baby will have fewer complications if she’s born from 34 weeks.
Studies have shown that babies delivered between 34 and 36 weeks have more than a 99% chance of survival.
Premature babies have two birthdays.
The day your baby is born is the official date of birth, but your original due date is considered an important date, too.
Skin-to-skin contact is beneficial for your baby.
Skin-to-skin contact stabilises your baby’s heart rate and oxygenation, it improves your little one’s sleep and balances her hormones.
Your baby’s doctor is called a neonatologist.
Neonatologists are doctors who specialise in the care of sick full-term and preterm infants.
Breast milk has several benefits for premature babies.
The fat content in human breast milk helps to enhance the development of your baby’s brain and neurologic tissues.
Changing from an incubator to a regular crib is a giant step for a preterm baby.
This means that your little one can regulate her own body temperature, which is a sign of great progress.
Many premature babies have grown to live a happy, healthy life.
Famous premature babies include Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Stevie Wonder and Sir Winston Churchill.
Preemies are weighed in grams rather than kilograms.
Although premature babies are so small that they are weighed in grams, it’s important to note that this is only temporary, as soon they’ll be in the kilograms range.
Premature babies are at higher risk of getting anaemia.
This is when a baby doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body. If you’re concerned, chat to your doctor.
One of the most common problems in premature babies is breathing difficulties.
Apnoea may occur, when there is a brief cessation of breathing. This is sometimes accompanied by a slowed-down heart rate (bradycardia).
Did you know?
- Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West was born prematurely at 34 weeks. She’s now a healthy five-year old.
- Celine Dion welcomed twin boys in 2010. They were both born a few weeks early, but were healthy.
- Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds welcomed their first daughter, James, early in 2015. Although she was a preemie, James didn’t need a NICU stay and is now a healthy four-year old.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.