What is a Premature Birth?
Premature birth occurs when a pregnancy lasts fewer than 37 weeks from conception. Full-term infants are born 38-42 weeks after they are conceived, with the average being 40 weeks. Characteristics of a premature infant include low birth weight, organs not fully developed or not yet functioning correctly, breathing difficulty, and greater risk of problems. Premature babies are often referred to as “preemies.”