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What is considered a premature baby?

What is considered a premature baby?

premature birth is a birth that happens more than three weeks before the baby's expected due date. In other words, a premature baby is a baby who is the result of birth that happens before the 37th week of pregnancy. Also, a premature baby often has medical issues. Normally, complications of a premature baby differ, but the earlier your baby is born, the higher the risk of medical problems.

What is considered a premature baby?

Premature baby weight

Premature babies weigh less than 2,500 grams.


Early term vs. full term for premature baby:

Too many babies are born with medical issues at 37 weeks. Any birth after 39 weeks is now called full term. Babies who are born 37 weeks to 38 weeks and six days are termed early term. Is a 36-week baby-fine too? Usually, the answer is yes. But there are a few things you should know.

It turns out that whatever expected date your doctor gave you might be not correct by a week. So if you think yourself full term at 37 weeks, you could only be 36 weeks pregnant. For this reason, it’s difficult to anticipate an exact due date. So whenever it’s not medically a must to induce labor, it’s recommended to let it start on its own.


Risks of a 36-week premature baby

It’s best to leave labor to continue naturally. But sometimes deliveries are done prematurely. A 36-week premature baby is called late preterm. At 36 weeks, the risk of health problems decreases to a great degree. The risk is much less than babies born even at 35 weeks. However, late premature babies are still in danger for:

- Respiratory problems
- Low birth weight
- Difficulty regulating temperature
- Death


35 week premature baby

In most cases, it’s not known why a woman has a 35-week premature baby. It’s not that the parents have done anything wrong that’s resulted in their baby being born early. In many cases, a 35-week premature baby comes because the mom was helped to keep that baby for longer. So families need to be congratulated for having the pregnancy and being able to keep the baby inside the womb for even a few extra days because that could be really crucial.
Read Also What is the condition of breast engorgement?

Risks of a 35 week premature baby

These babies could be at risk of health problems much higher than full-term babies. Many babies are so well at birth that they could still be skin-to-skin with their moms and we don’t need to do anything. However, for others, especially if they have problems with their breathing, they might need some extra care immediately at the beginning. If the baby is transferred to the observation or intensive care unit, it’s really for extra monitoring and support to make sure that the baby is doing well.

One of the most important things for parents to understand

is that their baby might be almost as big as a full-term baby but still not mature. We always tell moms that their baby has a few jobs before they can go home. One thing is to have a stable temperature. The other thing is not to have jaundice, a serious disease in which substances not usually in the blood cause your skin and the white part of your eyes to turn yellow. And the third is to be able to eat well. It’s the feeding well that often keeps babies in the hospital a little bit longer than others.


33-34 week premature baby

A premature baby who is born between 33 and 34 weeks is called a moderately premature baby. Weighing between 4 and 5 pounds when born and measuring almost 20 inches long, this premature baby has a similar size of a baby born at term. Although they are getting bigger in size, 33 and 34 week premature baby is immature and might need to stay in the NICU for several weeks.

A premature baby is almost fully developed by 33 and 34 weeks. Their bones are formed, their fingernails come to the edge of their fingertips. However, the respiratory system doesn't finish developing till the very last weeks of pregnancy, and antibodies are only starting to pass from the mom to the baby—so their immune health is still a bit at risk.

At 33 and 34 weeks, most untimely children will have genuinely short NICU remains with just a couple of medical problems. They may need assistance relaxing for a brief timeframe, yet figuring out how to eat could take longer. The suck-swallow-inhale reflexes are not very much planned, and these infants couldn't be sufficiently able to take in enough nourishment to develop and put on weight.

During this time, it's also important to look for any signs of overstimulation from the surroundings like hiccuping, sneezing, or crying. Guarding your baby's time for sleep is very crucial during this time.



31-32-week premature baby


By 31 to 32 weeks, premature babies weigh around 4 pounds and are between 18 and 19 inches long, which's almost as long as a baby born at term.
A premature baby born at 31 and 32 weeks is termed a moderately premature baby. Although they're still not mature at birth and will require several weeks of hospital care, most 31 and 32 weekers fast catch up to their peers and have few long-term effects of prematurity.

Between 31 and 32 weeks, babies gain a lot of fat. Premature babies born at this age are starting to look plump and could be able to maintain a good temperature without the help of an incubator.

They use all 5 senses to learn about their environment but still could get overstimulated by strong lights and very loud noises.
Overstimulation by their environment may be expressed via a hiccup, sneeze, or cry. At this age, your baby will possibly enjoy seeing your face up close.

Parents normally want to know when their babies could come home from the hospital. Even though at this age,
your baby looks like a smaller version of a full-term baby, your baby still needs care, especially as their immune health continues to develop,
and they improve their suck for feeding. While your baby will be up more, their sleep has to be protected, so they can continue to grow.



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