A premature infant is one who is born 3 or more weeks early. The earlier the baby is born, the more complciations can arise because not all organs are completely formed. But most preemies can recover and grow normally with attentive and loving care. Premature birth may be due to problems within the uterus or placenta in pregnancy, carrying multiple babies, or other factors. A preemie may need to stay in the NICU, be fed through a tube, kept warm using special beds, and be on oxygen therapy. Other treatments may also be used. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how premature infants are cared for, what complications may arise, what to expect later in life, and more.
An expert explains how premature babies have the same milestones as babies born on time, if you adjust the typical timeline for their early birth.
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