What are the risks for my baby if it is born too early?
Preterm birth and preterm delivery are the most common cause of neonatal death and long-term complications including bleeding into the brain, blindness, deafness, problems with the lungs, and problems with the intestines. The type of complications that may be experienced by your preterm infant can only be determined by the exact time of delivery and any other complicating factors that may have been involved with your delivery. In general, infants that are born very early are not considered to be “viable” until after 24 weeks gestation. This means that an infant that delivers prior to 24 weeks in a pregnancy will likely have less than a 50 percent chance of survival. Those infants born before 24 weeks gestation that do survive will have a very high risk of severe long-term problems as a result of their preterm delivery. At 24 weeks gestation, in an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy, the expected survival rate ranges between 60 and 70 percent. Of those infants that deliver prematurely at