The findings of an extensive study on the consequences of prematurity is being released today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study points to some troubling statistics among premature babies as they become adults, namely lower education rates and the greater likelihood not to have children of their own. And, while it was known that premature infants had an increased risk of death in the first year, it was suprising to learn that this increase of death continued as they got older. Babies born 5 – 9 weeks early showed a double risk of death from ages 1 – 5 compared to children born at term. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is also more prevalent in premature babies than babies born full term.
It’s so important to remember that keeping our children safe and healthy starts even before they’re born. Along with healthy eating, not smoking or drinking and regular doctors visits, be mindful for signs that something could be wrong. Nausea, headaches and swelling, while common in pregnancy, when severe can be symptoms of preeclampsia, a leading cause of premature birth.