Babies born prematurely often face a variety of medical or developmental challenges that range from temporary and mild to lifelong and serious depending on the severity of the prematurity and any complications they may have encountered.
Prematurity can be caused by a number of factors including maternal smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, drug use, or physical stress. Other factors that may increase the odds of a premature delivery include multiple fetuses, maternal age over 35 or under 19, certain pregnancy complications, and a history of miscarriage and preterm birth. For some premature births, the cause is unknown and may be quite unexpected.
Many premature infants often require hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) which is a special nursery designed to provide more intense medical care and a non-stressful environment for infants who may still be quite sensitive to lights and sounds allowing them to grow and develop. As a result of recent advances in medicine, more of even the smallest premature babies now survive.
To help families who experience a premature birth, PreemieCare offers the following:
If you have experienced a premature birth, you’ve come to the right place and you are not alone. Visit our Then and Now Photo Gallery to see other families’ inspirational stories.