One out of 10 U.S. infants is born preterm, often facing serious and sometimes fatal health problems. Here are two stories of babies who are thriving.
When a woman learns she is pregnant, she anticipates her baby coming along in nine months. And most every mom-to-be assumes her infant will be born around her due date and, hopefully, will come into the world healthy.
The majority of the time, that’s what happens.
But not always.
Premature babies, those born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, are not a rarity in the U.S. About one in every 10 American infants is born prematurely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These babies are not simply tinier than normal. They are often born with immediate health problems, including breathing difficulties, bleeding into the brain, jaundice, and anemia. They also may face an increased risk for difficulties with vision and developmental and long-term neurological disabilities.
Preterm birth is the greatest cause of infant mortality, especially for babies born very early, before 32 weeks. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year, and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births, according to the March of Dimes.
April 07, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN