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Doctor insights on: Micro Preemie Development

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When can I expect my preemie to reach development milestones?

When can I expect my preemie to reach development milestones?

Might be delayed: Each baby reaches the developmental milestones at their own pace. Preemies can lag behind infants of the same age, but often catch up within the first to second year of life. Every baby's developmental curve is different. Remember, it's not a race. Enjoy each stage as it happens.

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Dr. Cindy Juster
260 Doctors shared insights

Premature Baby (Definition)

Any newborn infant with a gestational age of less 37 weeks- since most pregnancies other than in vitro fertilization cannot determine exact dates of conception, several methods such as early ultrasound, last menstrual period, and the Ballard gestational assessment can ...Read more


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For a 31-week preemie with no complications and normal development as of 2-years-old, how likely are future problems due to prematurity?

For a 31-week preemie with no complications and normal development as of 2-years-old, how likely are future problems due to prematurity?

Very unlikely: A 31-weeker who had no complications and has been normal to age two years, can be looked upon as a normal person just like the full term kids. We are all human, so there is no perfect child. Any future problems are likely due to being a human, and not due to being a 31-weeker.

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Does the corrected age always have to be factored in for assessing development of preemie babies? (35 weeks)

Does the corrected age always have to be factored in for assessing development of preemie babies? (35 weeks)

Yes and No: Sorry for the confusing answer, but especially with those babies we call late preterm (after 34 weeks but before 37 weeks), development often is not very affected unless there were a lot of compounding problems with the birth. So if I was doc for a big, fat healthy 35 weeker, I would not always correct. More important s to follow closely over time and are they making appropriate progress.

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I am a grown adult who was a micro preemie at birth, weighing 1lb, 9oz. Could I still have impaired lungs and impaired lung function from BPD?

I am a grown adult who was a micro preemie at birth, weighing 1lb, 9oz. Could I still have impaired lungs and impaired lung function from BPD?

Possible: It is possible but you would still be having problems if you did. If you have been doing well, any residual damage is minor.

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I had a micro preemie at 24 weeks due to a uterine infection that caused preterm labor. How likely am I to have another preemie?

I had a micro preemie at 24 weeks due to a uterine infection that caused preterm labor. How likely am I to have another preemie?

Varies: If it was truly due to an infection and that infection is treated and cured, you would be at no higher risk than usual. However, if there were other contributing circumstances, like early cervical shortening, any abnormalities of uterus, then the risk could be a lot higher. It's an excellent thing to talk to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist about and what you can do pre-pregnancy to prevent.

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What does "preemie" mean?

What does "preemie" mean?

A baby born early: Any baby born before 37 weeks is considered a "preemie" or premature baby. There is a huge range in how well preemies do, however, depending on how early they are.

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How does a preemie get nec?

How does a preemie get nec?

NEC: Although the exact etiology of necrotizing enterocolitis (nec) remains unknown, research suggests multiple factors - inefficient blood circulation; infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi; immaturity and dysfunction of the immune system. Regardless of the triggering mechanisms, the resultant outcome is significant inflammation of the intestinal tissues.

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What is a preemie step-down unit?

What is a preemie step-down unit?

Less intervention: It means your baby is doing much better and requires less care. Maybe just needs to feed and grow.

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How does that advice change with a preemie?

How does that advice change with a preemie?

Not a chat room: Questions you submit to HT are randomly presented to physicians who visit the site. They are never linked, and we cannot see what or if you asked another question. The wording of this question suggests you are asking a followup to another question. To get the most from the site, please provide all the information needed to answer your question every time.

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What is the best bottle to use for a preemie?

Trial and error: You need to figure this out through trial and error. Search online and read the blogs. Then bring your baby and see which bottles and nipples are closest fitting to your baby. You will need to try a few until you find one that works.

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How do I know if my preemie is developing correctly?

How do I know if my preemie is developing correctly?

Modified scale: Motor development is the most common gauge we use for infant development. Charts used to assess motor skills are based on babies born at term. In premi's we adjust the expectations by how many weeks they were early. For example, tripod sitting for a few seconds is expected in term infants by 6m or 6m+wks premi for premi's.By 18-24m they seem to catch up. They should check this at ur checkups.

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Is staying at home require for a family if a preemie?

Is staying at home require for a family if a preemie?

Sometimes: Some preemies require much more care than full term infants and placing them in day care is a risk for infections they may not fight as well as full term babies. An example is RSV that can be devastating for a premature infant. You have to consider the amount of care your baby has required prior to coming home and any complications he or she might have had.

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When will my preemie reach a normal weight and height?

When will my preemie reach a normal weight and height?

24 months: Most babies will reach their expected growth curve by 2 years old, although those who were less premature will generally "catch up" sooner. If your child does not appear to be growing properly, your pediatrician will want to order some tests to determine if there is a treatable cause for the delay.

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Is it possible for a preemie to not be behind (emotionally, socially, physically)?

Is it possible for a preemie to not be behind (emotionally, socially, physically)?

Yes: Development in infants follows a similar sequence reguardless of prematurity. I have seen many 34+ wk premi's match the talents of term infants. As you go earlier, it is less likely. I find it more important to monitor progress thru skill sets with the aid of early childhood professionals. They can find areas of where a bit of help can give your child a chance to catch up.

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What do you do if people say your precious preemie is so little when you work so hard to help him grow? Crushed

What do you do if people say your precious preemie is so little when you work so hard to help him grow? Crushed

Don't be crushed.: People do not know what you have been through and how small your baby initially was. It is natural that people describe them as tiny as they really are smaller then a full term baby. To you the baby is "huge" compared to what he or she was at birth, so you have a point of reference, other people do not. I am sure they all mean well. The only important fact is how joyful it is to be home with him.

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I want to see the closest thing to a preemie. What are they like?

I want to see the closest thing to a preemie. What are they like?

Small Babies: Preemies are small babies. Their size depends on the gestational age.

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When should a preemie be circumcised?

When should a preemie be circumcised?

Depends on variables: This procedure, if desired, can be delayed until the kid is stable enough to consider discharge to home care. It can be done around the time of discharge by the method preferred by the physician doing the procedure. I usually do it the day prior to scheduled discharge. In some cases, other issues like a hypospadias might require a delay until much older, when corrective surgery can be scheduled.