Prematurity, also known as premature birth, is when the baby is born before 37 weeks of the pregnancy.

Hospital Care for a Premature Infant

Premature infants are born before the 37th week gestation. The earlier an infant is born, the greater the chance special care will be required before the infant is discharged from the hospital. ... read more »

Risk Factors for Premature Labor and Birth

Premature birth is a delivery before 37 completed weeks of the pregnancy. It is the #1 reason for neonatal morbidity and mortality. ... read more »

The Effects of Premature Labor on Your Baby

Although most babies born a few weeks early do well with no health consequences, the earlier they are born, the more health problems they will have. Learn how premature labor may affect your baby. ... read more »

Short Cervix In Pregnancy and Risk of Premature Delivery

The cervix is the cylindrical mouth of the uterus, separating it from the vagina. Normally, earlthe cervix is at least 3-4 cm long, and its length in pregnancy strengthens the protection of the fetus. ... read more »

Prenatal Vitamins Shown to Prevent Preterm Births

A new study shows that taking prenatal vitamins around the time of conception- four weeks before and eight weeks after a woman's last period- can reduce preterm (premature) births and the chances of having a smaller-than-normal baby. ... read more »

Risks of Preterm or Premature Labor and Delivery

Learn about contractions and cervical changes before 37 weeks. ... read more »

Cervical Length - Risk of Prematurity

There is a reverse direct relationship between cervical length and the risk of premature births. ... read more »

Premature Labor Symptoms and Signs - When To Call The Doctor

Premature labor and delivery is the #1 reason for newborn death. You should call the doctor or go to the hospital if you have any of these symptoms or signs. ... read more »

Weight Gain and Premature Birth

Is weight gain during pregnancy related to premature delivery? ... read more »

Premature Contractions

Are premature contractions a problem? ... read more »

Preterm Delivery Odds

What are the odds of preterm delivery? ... read more »

Changes in Vaginal pH May Indicate Premature Delivery

The pH of the vagina may be a good indicator of complications to come. During a model project spanning from 2004 to 2006, pregnant patients were asked to use test gloves to measure the pH of the vagina twice a week for 20 weeks. ... read more »

Famous Preemies: Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlovna Matveyevna was born several weeks early in Russia in 1881 to a laundry-maid mother and an unknown father. She became one of the most celebrated ballerinas of all time. ... read more »

Famous Preemies: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was born six weeks early in Saginaw, Michigan. The oxygen-rich environment of his incubator led to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The baby was blind. ... read more »

Famous Preemies: Winston Churchill

The circumstances surrounding the birth of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill read like a Victorian novel, full of intrigue, innuendo, and hints of scandal. ... read more »

Music, Mom’s Voice Help Preemies Eat Better

A recent study has found that parents can help their premature baby significantly. The research team used music and the mother's voice to encourage preemies to feed themselves effectively in the NICU. ... read more »

Famous Preemies: Derek Paravicini

When Derek Paravicini was born on July 26, 1979, at 25 weeks, he was given oxygen therapy as standard procedure. The oxygen is said to have caused blindness and severe learning disabilities. ... read more »

Low Birth Weight Babies: Hospital and Home Care

Infants born weighing less than 2,500 grams (5.5 pounds) are considered low birth weight. Some low birth weight infants are born premature while others are born on-time, but weigh less than average. ... read more »

What is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

NICU is the abbreviation for the neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital. Infants born premature or in need of advanced medical care may be admitted to the NICU for observation and treatment. ... read more »

Scotland Considers Adding Gestation Length to School Records

Researchers in Scotland have proposed adding gestation length to a child's school records to identify the preemies so school teachers will know which kids might need a little special attention. ... read more »

Famous Preemies: Leslie Lemke

Leslie Lemke was born prematurely with severe brain damage, cerebral palsy, and glaucoma; retinal damage soon followed. His mother abandoned him. ... read more »

Artificially Sweetened Drinks and Preterm Delivery

New research suggests that drinking lots of artificially sweetened beverages may be linked with an increased risk of premature births. ... read more »

Decongestants May Reduce Risk of Premature Birth

The use of decongestants during pregnancy is common. Most often, women who choose not to use over the counter medications are trying to protect the fetus from potential harm. ... read more »