URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/prematurebabies.html

Premature Babies

Also called: Preemies 

Summary

Each year, nearly 500,000 babies are premature, or preemies. That's 1 of every 8 infants born in the United States. A premature birth is when a baby is born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks.

Important growth and development occur throughout pregnancy - especially in the final months and weeks. Because they are born too early, preemies weigh much less than full-term babies. They may have health problems because their organs did not have enough time to develop. Preemies need special medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. They stay there until their organ systems can work on their own.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Start Here

Treatment

Nutrition

Coping

Specific Conditions

Related Issues

Financial Issues

Clinical Trials

Directories

Law and Policy

Statistics