A premature baby is one who is born earlier than expected, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Each year, about 1 in 10 babies in the United States is born prematurely. Premature babies may not be fully developed at birth. They may have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later.
Some health problems related to premature birth can last a lifetime. Other problems may show up as your baby grows and later in childhood. The earlier in pregnancy a baby is born, the more likely he is to have health problems. Did you know that a baby’s brain nearly doubles in size during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy? Some families today are choosing to schedule their deliveries early even if there is no medical need. Every day counts in the life of a developing fetus since his brain, lungs, and other important organs continue to develop in the womb even in the last few weeks of pregnancy. There are medical reasons for some babies to be born early but if your pregnancy is healthy, it is best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks.
Visit https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/why-at-least-39-weeks-is-best-for-your-baby.aspx – to learn more about the importance of the final weeks of pregnancy, why it is best to wait for labor to begin on its own, and test your pregnancy knowledge. If you are interested in participating in our HBWW Advisory Board or would like to participate in other initiatives, please contact us at (954) 563-7583.