Information taken from Mayo Clinic and Stanford Children’s Health
WHAT IS PREMATURITY?
A premature birth occurs before 37 weeks gestation. Typically a pregnancy should last around 40 weeks. A baby who is born prematurely hasn’t had the usual amount of time to develop in the womb, resulting in increased complications which may include developmental delays. Complications may be both short-term and long-term. Most premature births occur within 34-36 weeks gestation which is considered to be “late preterm”.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PREMATURITY?
- Small size
- Low body temperature
- Labored breathing
- Fine hair covering the body
- Difficulty sucking and swallowing (which may lead to feeding difficulties and poor digestion)
- Weak cry and body tone
- Thin, shiny, pink, or red skin
WHAT CAUSES PREMATURITY?
The following problems may increase the risk for premature birth:
- Cervical incompetence
- History of premature delivery
- Poor nutrition before or during pregnancy
- Placenta previa
- Lack of prenatal care
- Drug use
- Multiple pregnancies
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD AT HOME?
Some children who were born prematurely may have developmental delays. It is important to monitor your child for developmental delays. Early identification and treatment are important. Click here for information on speech and language development.
OUR APPROACH AT KEY THERAPIES:
We will work with you and your family to address any delays your child may have. An individualized treatment plan will be created for your child based off of his / her current needs. We will work on improving areas of deficit by building upon strengths.