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Premature Birth

When a baby is born before the end of the 37th week of a pregnancy, he or she is called premature. Premature babies can range from those who are very tiny, weighing just over one pound, to very large babies who look almost like a full-term baby and weigh six pounds. Prematurity is a common problem in the United States, with about one out of eight babies being born too early. Even if you have done everything right during your pregnancy, you may still have a premature baby.

When a baby is born early, different parts of his or her body will not function properly, even though they are all well formed. The most common organ systems that require assistance are the lungs and the digestive system. The earlier in the pregnancy that the baby is born, the more likely these problems will occur. Take comfort in knowing that your baby will be attended to by neonatal experts who have dedicated their careers to trying to help these tiny newborns. We will work together with you to provide the care that your baby needs. Our goal is to help get your child home as soon and as safely as possible.

We understand that your (and your family’s) emotional health may need a little support too. Having a premature baby and then receiving care in an intensive care unit is stressful. We offer support during your infant’s stay through our neonatal staff members, the March of Dimes NICU Family Support® program, and the Parent-to-Parent Partnership.