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Think Out Loud

Caring For Babies Born Prematurely

Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel

Over the past few weeks we’ve been having conversations about pregnancy and birth, in conjunction with The World‘s series: The Ninth Month. We’ve talked about the low but rising rate of out-of-hospital births and the high proportion of babies born by C-section. Today we’ll explore the implications of the 12 percent of babies born prior to what’s considered full term (40 weeks).

Tara Martin and her husband are among those who have faced what is almost always an uncertain situation. Martin gave birth to her son at 35 weeks, but only after spending more than two months in the hospital on bed rest, waiting for the baby to be developed enough to be born safely. Her son is six now, but he faces some developmental challenges as a result of complications of his premature birth.

We’ll also talk with Patrick Lewallen, a neonatologist at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, about some of the factors that lead to preterm births in the U.S. and how doctors talk with parents about the risks and benefits of live-saving interventions.

Have you had a baby who was born prematurely? What was your experience like?

births the ninth month premature babies preterm births

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