What is prematurity/preterm birth?
The birth of a baby before 37 weeks gestation or 3 weeks before the estimated due date.
There are sub-categories of prematurity, based on gestational age:
- extremely preterm/micropreemie(less than 28 weeks)
- very preterm (28 to 32 weeks)
- moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 weeks).
Fast Facts about prematurity:
-1 in 10 babies are born premature. The current premature birth rate in the US is 10.02% (Reference: National Center for Health Statistics)
-Every year an estimated 15 million babies are born premature and this number continues to rise.
-Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 globally and is responsible for approximately 1 million deaths per year.
-Preterm birth can be dangerous, particularly if the infant is not fully developed by delivery. The final weeks and months of pregnancy are critical for the growth and development of major organ systems in babies, including the brain, lungs and liver. The risk of death increases the earlier a baby is born.
-Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant mortality and-can also lead to lasting developmental and physical disabilities including breathing and feeding difficulties, hearing and vision problems, cerebral palsy and developmental delays.
-Effects of prematurity can persist through childhood and into adolescence. Cognitive and behavioral deficits in areas such as attention, visual processing, emotional control and social interaction are possible.
Want to know where your state ranks in premature births?
Maternal Health Resources
Curious about what Preeclampsia is and its warning signs?
What is HELLP syndrome?
Have you suffered from preeclampsia or another hypertensive disease of pregnancy and would like to help further preeclampsia research? Sign up for the Preeclampsia Registry: https://www.medscinet.com/Preeclampsia/register.aspx
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