Babies born between pregnancy weeks 34 and 37 might often look and act—even weigh—much like a full term infant, but these infants are at a higher risk because of their premature birth for health complications that can be devastating and even deadly if not quickly observed and treated. Some of these complications include jaundice (yellowish skin and whites of eyes), feeding problems, breathing problems, sleep apnea, temperature instability, and serious developmental delays, and they could impair the baby for life.
Parents and care providers of infants born between weeks 34 and 37 are encouraged by a new Near-Term Infant Initiative from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses to seek care and information about this unique group of premature babies from their health care providers. Parents are urged to act quickly at the first signs of problems even if they suspect what they’re seeing is “normal” in their new baby.
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