The Family Birthplace at Stephens Memorial Hospital celebrates the birth of all babies and would like to wish all women a healthy and full-term pregnancy. In recognition of World Prematurity Day on November 17th, 2011 we present this information on babies born early.
Babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy are called premature. 1 in 8 babies in the United States is premature. This is 12.8% of babies born in America, or more than half a million each year. Most premature babies are born between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. All premature babies are at risk for health problems, but the earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk for serious complications.
All women should learn the signs of early labor and what to do if they have any of them. Remember you play a part in you and your baby's health by visiting your doctor of choice before getting pregnant and regularly during the pregnancy, taking your prescribed vitamins and folic acid, and avoiding smoking, alcohol and drugs other than those given to you by your doctor. Be sure to talk with your doctor or nurse if you have any questions, are worried, or want further information. You may also contact the Maine Health Learning Resource Center for additional information at (207) 743-1562 ext. 6196.