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.
WebMD explains premature labor and helps you decide when to call the doctor.
Medical Help for Mom and Her Preemie
Learn all about the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where preemies go for treatment after they're born.
Premature Infant-Frequently Asked Questions
Premature birth can be a crisis for any family. It may heighten fears about your infant's health and long - term development. For some parents, these concerns are somewhat relieved when their preemie is healthy enough at birth to be sent home from the hospital with the mother. For others, the fear and worry continue when their tiny newborn is moved to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Whether
Premature Infant-Taking Care of Yourselves
If your premature infant is moved to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), expect that you will become overwhelmed with new emotions and information. Don't be surprised if you and your partner handle this crisis differently, which may or may not create a strain on your relationship. Both of you, in different ways, may feel: Fearful and helpless.Grief. Separation from your infant at birth is a .
Your Premature Baby: Milestones of First 18 Months
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.
Caring for Your New Arrival
Like most first-time moms, Brittany Shives had high hopes for the birth of her first baby. But just about every one of those plans fell apart when she gave birth nearly 7 weeks before her due date.
More and More Babies Born Too Soon
Over the past two decades, premature births have increased dramatically in the U.S. Today, one out of 10 babies are born too soon -- and no one can tell us why.
When 'Labor Day' Comes Early
Expectant moms are more educated than ever about how to ensure a healthy pregnancy, yet rates of preterm labor rising steadily.
News ArchiveView All
Subscribe to the Pregnancy & Child Development Newsletter.
Get essential updates about your growing baby and what to expect each week.