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Premature Infant

Key Points About Prematurity

  • Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are considered premature or born too early.
  • Many premature babies also weigh less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams). They may be called low birth weight.
  • Premature babies can have long-term health problems. In general, the more premature the baby, the more serious and long-lasting the health problems may be.
  • Prenatal care is a key factor in preventing preterm births and low-birth-weight babies.
  • Premature babies are at increased risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).


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Frequently Asked Questions

Prevention and Risk Assessment

What causes prematurity?

What is prematurity?

Who is at risk for prematurity?

Can prematurity be prevented?


What are the symptoms of prematurity?

How is prematurity diagnosed?


How is prematurity treated?

What are possible complications of prematurity?

How is prematurity managed?

Treatment for Babies at Children's National Hospital

Our nationally ranked division has the nation's top neonatologists who provide the highest level of expert and compassionate care for your newborn baby. Discover more about the treatment we offer.

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Meet the Providers Who Treat Premature Infants

Departments that Treat Premature Infant

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Critical Care Medicine

With the only pediatric, cardiac and neuro-intensive care units in the immediate Washington, D.C., area, Children's National Hospital is the region's leading provider of critical care medicine for seriously ill and injured infants and children.

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Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children's National Hospital's top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.