Are premature babies developmentally delayed?

If you are a new preemie parent – a child born earlier than 37 weeks – you may have spent the last few days, weeks and even months living by the minute, focusing on weight, measurements and testing. Are premature babies developmentally delayed?

How early were you born?

In general, the earlier a child is born, the more likely it is to have persistent problems that affect its growth and development.

Doctors divide enemies into groups depending on the age at birth:

  •  Late premature babies: from 34 weeks to less than 37 weeks
  •  Moderately premature: between 32 and 34 weeks
  •  Very premature babies: less than 32 weeks
  •  Extremely premature babies: 25 weeks or less

Late premature babies are catching up quickly. Children who were born earlier may develop more slowly and have problems. Extremely premature babies are more at risk of severe, permanent disabilities.

Late premature babies

According to a new study, late premature babies born between 34 and 36 weeks of gestation may be at increased risk of moderate developmental and academic problems up to the age of 7 compared to babies born on time.

Most studies of the risk of premature delivery concern infants born between 23 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, but significant brain development occurs in the last four to six weeks of pregnancy. Interrupting these processes, combined with the often complex medical problems faced by premature babies, can contribute to the increased risk of developmental and academic problems.

Are premature babies developmentally delayed?

Birth weight

The less your child weighed when she was born, the more likely she would have health problems that could affect her development.

Has other health conditions

Opponents more often have medical problems, such as heart, lung or intestinal infections or diseases. Doctors can treat these problems, and some go away as the child ages. They can still slow down the growth and development of the child. Your child may need extra time to strengthen their strength.

How complicated was the hospital treatment

If your child spent a lot of time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and needed a lot of special care, he probably needs extra time for development.

How to adjust your child’s age

If your baby was born early, it has 2 important days to mark on the calendar. The child’s birth date is the official date of birth, but the estimated date of delivery is also valid. When you measure your child’s development – that is, when you look at what is “normal” for your child’s age – consider both of these dates. Looking at the difference between them, you can adjust her calendar age to take into account her prematurity and calculate the corrected age. During the first 2 years, using the corrected age will give you a better idea of ​​when to achieve common development goals.

Here’s what to do: if your child is 14 weeks old but was born six weeks earlier, subtract 6 from 14. That gives you 8 weeks. Use this adjusted age when looking at milestone sections. By the age of 2, most children have reached normal range and you will not have to do this math. If your child has not caught up, he or she may require additional support for a longer period of time.



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