When is a baby considered premature?

January 07, 2013 12:00 AM

A:   Any baby born at or before 37 weeks gestational age is considered preterm. There are an alarming number of preterm births in the US, with 1 in 8 babies being born preterm.  Despite the prevalence of prematurity, parental knowledge of the subject is low–a recent survey found that 75% of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity.  The survey also found that 3 in 10 mothers of preemies weren’t aware of the possibility of prematurity until they had their first child.  It’s important that parents be educated on prematurity, because babies born early have unique health needs that need to be attended to.

– Dr. Mitchell Goldstein

Dr. Mitchell Goldstein is Medical Director Emeritus and Fellowship Coordinator of the Neonatal ICU in the Family Birth & Newborn Center. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Perinatology Perinatal Association.  He is on the board of the American Academy of Pediatrics Perinatal Section.  He is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at Loma Linda University Medical Center.  He is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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