Without Major Complications
Every pregnant woman wants her baby to be healthy and normal. It depends on the course of the pregnancy that how the baby would sustain both internal and external pressures. Prenatal care is the most important factor in providing safety to the unborn baby. There are times when certain other complications might occur regardless of how well you take care of yourself.
Your doctor would advise you accordingly and would take care of things. Let’s see how early a baby can be born without major complications. The period of a baby’s delivery is divided into terms. Early Preterm This period indicates that the baby arrives from 22 to 28 weeks. This time frame is the earliest a baby can arrive and survive in some cases. The baby would need extended stay at the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit. This unit would take care of the baby’s growth and development.
If she is born within this time frame then there are high chances that she would be having some major complications. These complications can result in a lifelong handicap too. The actual reason behind major complications is that the baby has not developed yet and her organs don’t function properly.
The most common major complication is that of the lungs. The lungs get developed later during the pregnancy and they are very weak if the baby arrives early. The second most common issue is the development of the brain. The brain is the last organ which develops. It is developed the most during the last few weeks of the pregnancy. The baby might grow up having brain disorders if it arrives during 22 to 28 weeks.
Most babies might not even survive during this time as it is too early for them to arrive. Moderate Preterm Baby The baby is considered a moderate preterm baby if she arrives during 28 weeks to 35 weeks. There is a very high chance that the baby will survive with NICU services.
The baby might have some complications like breathing problems, swallowing issues or infections but these complications would be less than early preterm period. Premature babies have issues regarding blood sugar levels, low fat deposits and brain disorders. Full Term Baby This is the safest period for the baby to arrive early. A full term is considered when the baby comes between 37 to 40 weeks.
During this time, the baby has grown to her fullest and the organs developed properly and no major complications occur. A full term baby would be able to survive on her own without needing to go to the NICU. These babies are healthy and have normal activities and milestones. Their brain is developed and they would not face any difficulty regarding brain function. Their breathing would be normal too and would not require any aid in breathing properly. Although the total pregnancy time is calculated to be around 40 weeks, babies coming at 37 weeks are also considered full term.
How early can a Baby Be Born without being Premature
Every pregnant woman wants her baby to be healthy and normal. A due date is given by the doctors so that they have an idea when the baby should be born without any complications. A full term is considered 37 weeks or more and delivering before this time would mean that the baby is premature. A premature baby is very sensitive and fragile to deal with. She would need some special attention to make her healthy and normal. Why babies are born prematurely? There could be many reasons and a few of them are mentioned below: Preeclampsia No prenatal care Gestational diabetes Infections Smoking Drinking alcohol Taking certain Uterine problems and cervical issues Back to back pregnancies Had a previous premature birth These are the major causes that bring a premature birth of the baby. A pregnant woman needs to be very cautious about her health if she wishes to deliver a full term baby.
Difficulties for a Premature Baby A premature baby would not be able to handle things well. The baby would be tiny and might have certain health complications. The biggest complication it would have is the breathing issue. The lungs are not fully developed before 37 weeks and the baby might need help from the NICU to breathe better. The baby might also have to undergo some medication to make the lungs stronger. At 37 weeks, the baby’s digestive system would be having meconium which is given out as the first poo. This sticky substance would mean that the baby is ready to take her first feed.
A premature baby would not be able to have meconium and would have certain problems with the digestive tract. A baby’s brain is developed the most during the last weeks of pregnancy. This time would be around the due date and the baby would have a fully developed brain at the time of due date. A premature baby would not have a properly developed brain if it is born before 37 weeks.
A premature baby also has to deal with low sugar and low fat. Sugar and proteins are given through the IV till the baby is able to take her feed. Low fat makes the baby cold as she is not able to keep herself warm enough. Overhead warmers would be given to make the baby warm and comfortable. The best thing would be to avoid a premature birth but certain things can’t make it happen.
How early can a baby be born without being premature? It would be safe to say that babies born after 37 weeks complete their full term and are no longer considered premature. A full term baby would be born between 37 to 40 weeks and would be having a fully developed body without any major health complications. The baby would also not need to stay in the NICU to get better.
A safe and protected home environment is sufficient for her to survive outside the womb. How early can a Baby Be Born Safely? When women get pregnant, they are at the peak of their jubilance. They can’t wait to hold the bundle of joy in their arms and make it the most important part of their life. Pregnant women need a lot of patience as they have to go through a lot during these 40 weeks. When they reach the third trimester, they might get highly impatient and restless.
The baby will arrive soon but they need to calm themselves down. It is always better to wait a little longer in order to make sure that the baby is safe. Let’s look into how early can a baby be born safely and what effects it can have on both the mother and the baby. Extremely Preterm Baby An extremely preterm baby arrives between 23 and 28 weeks. These babies have a very low chance of surviving. They need longer stay at the NICU to make sure they are safe.
These babies would not have their brain and lungs developed to the fullest and would require medical assistance. The babies born at this time have to struggle with breathing issues. The babies also have low blood sugar due to lack of nutrients going inside their bodies. Preterm babies have low birth weight too as they are delivered early and they would be kept in the NICU till they get normal. Proteins and sugars would be given through an IV till they learn to suck and swallow. Moderately Preterm Baby This baby arrives around 28 to 35 weeks.
The baby is not fully matured at this stage and would need assistance of the NICU. The lungs are not fully developed and the baby would need breathing help. The baby would not have enough fats to keep itself warm. Overhead warmers would be required to keep the baby warm and comfortable.
At this stage, the baby still not is very safe to be delivered. Late Preterm Baby This period indicates that the baby arrives between 35 to 37 weeks. The baby is still a preterm baby but early of being a full term baby too. The baby is healthy and normal during this stage as all his organs are fully developed.
He might not need to go to the NICU at 37 weeks but if the baby is born before 37 weeks, NICU services would need to be taken. A baby during this stage is very safe to be delivered and might not have any major complications at 37 weeks. Full Term Baby A full-term baby is delivered between 37 to 40 weeks. The baby has fully developed and is able to survive on its own. He would be able to manage the transition very well without any assistance from the NICU. The safest period for the baby to be born is during the full term period. So, coming to how early a baby can be born safely is between 37 to 40 weeks. Baby born before 37 weeks would not be very safe to be born.
How early can a Baby be Born and Not Go into the NICU?
NICU or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a specialized ward where special care is given to newborn babies. Facilities such as a ventilator, overhead warmer, oxygen masks, incubator and IV are provided. This unit is monitored under strict supervision of the doctor and it is an area where people are not mostly permitted to go except for staff members and other specific people.
Nobody wants to have a newborn lying in this unit as it is very painful. There are times in your life when it becomes unavoidable and the baby lands up here.
How Early Can a Baby Be Delivered?
Let’s have a look at how early can a baby be born and not need NICU. Sometimes premature babies who are delivered before 37 weeks are fairly healthy and do not require NICU.
Babies born after 37 weeks require NICU due to certain complications. It rarely happens as most of the times babies born full-term are fully developed. There may be some other issues that make the baby land at the NICU. A mother’s womb is the safest place for the baby to be in till 37 weeks. During this time, the baby is getting all the nourishment it requires from the mother.
The warmth of the mother’s womb makes it a comfortable place for the baby to be in. What actually happens is when a baby is born before 37 weeks she does not have much fat which would keep her warm outside the womb. The outside world becomes very cold for her and she needs to have a place warm and comfortable to survive. Babies born before 35 weeks always have a chance of getting inside the NICU.
These babies still have some development to go through. The lungs are weak and they feel difficulty in breathing. There is a less likely chance that the babies born after 35 weeks have to go to the NICU. At 35 weeks, the baby is still premature but has developed in such a way that it does not require the assistance of the NICU.
What Should a Mother Do?
A mother would always try her best that her baby does not end up in the NICU but at times some things are not in the control. Even if the baby does get to the intensive care, the parents need to be patient and calm about it.
Most babies survive if they are both healthy. The birth weight matters a lot in this regard. If the birth weight of the baby is good then he would not need the help of any extra attention except for any other complication.
Babies born healthy always have a good chance that they would not require the NICU so you always need to check up on the weight of the baby. It would not only avoid him being in the NICU but would also make him have strong immunity. So how early can a baby be born and not need NICU is around 35 weeks. This is the time around which the baby is fully developed and does not need NICU.
How early can a Baby Be Born and Survive?
Pregnancy is a journey full of emotions and it can also become a roller coaster ride. There may be some issues or there may not be any complications at all. Every woman wishes for an uneventful pregnancy in which she doesn’t have to go through anything unexpected or unusual.
The baby needs to be nourished inside the mother’s womb for as long as it is required but at times it is not possible for the baby to get the nourishment from the mother. She may have to arrive way ahead of her due date. If that is the case then there are various things to be kept in mind and worked out accordingly.
The question arises that how early can a baby be born and survive? Getting an answer to this one would not be easy without keeping all the aspects in mind. Let’s take a look at how a baby can survive with given circumstances. Birth before 28 weeks This period is the one which takes care of the initial growth of the baby. In this stage, the baby has developed to some extent. If under certain conditions the baby is unable to grow well or not able to survive then it would result in a miscarriage. It is very difficult to make the baby survive during this period.
The baby still has to have all her organs developed before she is born. It is very unlikely to make her survive at this stage. Birth at 28 weeks If the baby is born at 28 weeks, there is a slight chance that the baby might survive. The baby is still in her developing stage and needs to have all her organs fully developed. If the baby is born during this time then she would need extended stay at the NICU. Baby at this stage does not have enough fat to keep her warm and she needs assistance from the warmers inside the NICU. The baby may also have difficulty in breathing as the lungs are not fully developed.
During this stage, the baby also needs helps in swallowing her food. The baby in NICU is fed through the feeding tubes for some time and given proteins and fats through IV. These babies need special attention and care as they need to get developed and fight against infections due to low immunity. They already have low blood sugar, low fat deposits, breathing problems, infections and low birth weight.
Once they are out of the NICU, they are normal and healthy just like any other child but for some time they have to be kept in the intensive care till they get to their normal birth weight and conditions. Every 9 out of 10 babies survive at 28 weeks gestation age with the help of NICU.
How early can a baby be born and survive? The answer to this is that a baby born at 28 weeks or more is able to survive but with the assistance of NICU. She needs to be monitored very closely as the condition is quite sensitive. The parents need to stay strong during this time as they would be away from their child but it has to be done for the child’s survival. Once this period is over, she would hopefully be leading a normal life with her family.
How early can a Baby Be Born without Complications?Pregnancy can be one exciting journey for women who don’t have to face major complications with the baby. Your bundle of joy would arrive soon if all things are good and the due date is around. A due date is given to have an idea when the baby would arrive. If the baby arrives before the due date then she may need help and support with the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit facilities. A baby with complications would keep her parents worried till she gets better. Every effort needs to be made to avoid any complications with the preterm baby.
Why are babies born with complications?
Babies are still developing till they are in their mother’s womb. Their brain is the last organ which is developed especially during the last weeks of pregnancy. Now when the baby is still developing till her due date and she has to be delivered early for some reason then the baby might have to go through some difficulties.
The major organs need nourishment and nutrients to grow and develop and when that nourishment is not given, the organs feel difficulty in functioning well. The first organ of the baby which needs proper functioning before early delivery is the lungs. The lungs do not get mature enough to properly function for premature babies.
These babies would need assistance from the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit in terms of breathing. The baby is too weak having low birth weight as a premature. She would also need proteins and fats to grow. She would require warmers to make herself warm at the NICU. The baby would also be having low sugar levels.
A premature baby is prone to more infections as she has low immunity. These infections might be severe and need medical assistance at the NICU. As the brain is the last organ which is developed, a premature baby might not be able to think or act normally if any complication occurs. A premature baby has a high risk of deafness too.
How early can a baby be born without complications?
It is safe to say that babies born at their full term of 37 or more weeks are less likely to develop any complications. Though no one can be certain about this but the facts are that they would have a less chance of developing complications. A full term baby has developed all of its major organs to function properly.
Full-term babies also do not require NICU for anything. They are able to survive on their own and have fewer chances of going to the NICU. Doctors make sure that your baby completes the full term duration but at times it becomes unavoidable. Pregnant women should make sure that they take prenatal care in order to try and avoid any complications for the baby. Smoking and drinking alcohol should not become a reason for a premature birth. So yes babies are born early with complications and how early can a baby be born without complications is at least 37 weeks.
How early can a Baby Be Born and Not Stay in NICU?A baby is the greatest blessing anyone could get in this world. These tiny species arrive with a lot of hope for the parents. However, it becomes a traumatizing experience for the parents to see their child end up in the NICU due to some complication or premature birth.
NICU stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is fully equipped with all the facilities a newborn but premature baby should have. The unit is handled by the most competent people of the hospital as it has to deal with the most sensitive and fragile human beings.
What is NICU?
As mentioned earlier, NICU is the most special care unit for the premature babies who need assistance to fully develop. This unit consists of incubators, ventilators, IV facility, overhead warmers and other specialized equipment.
Nobody is allowed to stay in the unit and only authorized people can go inside. The doctors make sure that the baby is safe and all his requirements are being fulfilled.
Why are babies kept in the NICU?
Babies born before 35 weeks are kept in the NICU so that they can develop easily. Premature babies are born before 37 weeks. These babies have very fragile bodies still being developed. They usually have difficulty in breathing as their lungs are not fully developed. They would need external help to improve their breathing.
Premature babies also cannot keep themselves warm as they do not have enough fat. Overhead warmers are used to keep the babies warm. These babies do not know how to swallow properly and they are fed by the feeding tube. Once they are developed, they would latch on any top feed or breastfeed.
How early can a baby be born and not stay in NICU?
Babies born after 35 weeks have less chance of staying in the NICU. These babies have developed fully and don’t need any external assistance to survive. Your doctor would make sure that the baby completed the full term but if it becomes unavoidable then other things might need to be worked out.
If you wish to keep your baby away from the intensive care, then you need to have a good healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. Majority of the babies come early due to unhealthy ways of the mother during her pregnancy like smoking, drinking alcohol or using chemicals. This would not only result in a premature delivery but would also make the baby go to the NICU.
You need to be extra cautious during your first and third trimester as these periods are very critical in terms of your baby’s development. Keep on checking your baby’s weight throughout pregnancy to have an idea of her proper growth. The weight of the baby would largely determine the chances of him going to the NICU. How early can a baby be born and not stay in NICU is 35 weeks. Take good care of yourself and your baby to avoid going to the tormenting experience of this unit.
How early can a Baby Be Born and Be Completely Healthy?
It is said that all 40 weeks of pregnancy matter. Babies born before the due date or expected delivery date are vulnerable to several infections and they may develop certain disabilities later on in life.
It is therefore strongly advised to pregnancy women that they take good care of themselves throughout pregnancy, eat healthy food and have all their checkups and tests performed at the right time to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy. If there is something wrong, the doctors may have to intervene and deliver the baby earlier than the due date.
How early can a baby be delivered?
Now the question arises how early a baby can be born and be completely healthy. Well, there could be different answers to this question depending on the situation and overall health of the baby at the time she is born.
Most importantly it includes the baby’s birth weight. If the weight is below 2 ounces, there are very little chances of survival. However, if the baby is born after 28 weeks are complete and her birth weight is fairly optimum, there are strong chances that she would be completely healthy. The overall health of the baby is also dependent on her ability to suck, swallow and breathe normally.
Normal babies born full term are capable of performing all these activities on their own. However, premature babies are unable to breathe normally, which is one of the reasons they have to be kept inside the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit for about 2 weeks to one month. During this time, they are fed with proteins to keep them alive and warm. They are also given oxygen through pipes because they are unable to perform the inhaling and exhaling movements like normal people do.
How to take care of premature babies
Babies born prematurely are very fragile. They need to be handled very carefully, which is often not possible at home. It is therefore recommended to keep these babies, especially those born at 28 weeks, in the NICU.
There are overhead warmers as well as many other essential machines to help these babies survive in a womb-like environment. A mother’s womb is the safest place for a baby to be in at least for a period of 37 weeks. She doesn’t have to do anything on her own and enjoy a peaceful bonding just with her mother.
But as soon as she enters the real world, she is presented with all sorts of challenges including emotional and physical. Fighting disease like normal human beings is another area where these babies need assistance. Their immune system has not developed fully at the stage they are born and they might be vulnerable to many potential and serious infections.
Some of the infections are so fatal that the babies are unable to fight them. Babies born at 35 weeks are still termed premature but they are capable of performing many basic activities and hence they have strong chances of survival outside the womb. Very few babies are born before 28 weeks and it happens only because of a complication.
How early can a Baby Be Born Full Term?
A baby has to complete her journey for nine months before birth and the gestation age is calculated in weeks. The pregnancy period is divided into three trimesters and each having 12 weeks. Each trimester has its own milestone in terms of the baby’s growth and development. A baby grows inside a mother’s womb for nine months and takes all her essential nutrients from there.
A mother’s womb is the most comfortable place for the unborn baby and she feels safe there. As soon as the baby is delivered, she needs support from others to make her survive in the harsh outside world. Early Preterm Baby A preterm baby is known to be delivered before the full term and early preterm means that the baby is delivered between 37 weeks, 0 days and 38 weeks, 6 days. This is the time when the baby has fully developed but could have stayed longer inside her mother for more growth and development.
These babies mostly do not need the assistance of the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit. They are able to survive on their own. Some babies, however, may have breathing issues and need to be treated for some time.
Full Term Baby A full-term baby is considered the one, who is delivered between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks, 6 days. This time is the ideal time for the baby to be delivered. The baby has already grown into her required size and the organs are fully developed. The baby is just ready to face the outside world with her fully developed body.
Late Term Baby Late term baby is the one, who comes between 41 weeks, 0 days and 41 weeks, 6 days. This period needs to be taken care of as long the baby stays inside from the due date could bring certain complications. Mostly women get induced or undergo a C-section to avoid any complications. For women who decide to have a vaginal birth, they may need to hang in there for more time. Poster Term Baby This time is beyond 41 weeks and 6 days. It would be very frustrating for the mom to be able to handle the situation. It is always advisable to ask help from your doctor if your due date has passed.
How early can a baby be born full term?
The earliest a baby can be born and considered full term is at 37 weeks. This is also known as the early preterm but the baby born during this time is considered a full term baby. The baby is fully developed and would not need any NICU services. The baby would be able to survive on her own.
It is very well understood that how early can a baby be born full term is at 37 weeks and 0 days. The baby at this stage would be able to cope up well without breathing difficulties, swallowing issues or low immunity and hence grow up to be a healthy adult.
How Early Can a Baby Be Born and Not Called Premature?
A full-term pregnancy is about 37 to 40 weeks long. Most babies are born either at 37 weeks or before that. Very rarely babies are delivered before 28 weeks are complete and at this stage it is hard to tell if they would survive or not.
It is said that after 24 weeks the lungs are fully developed and the babies are capable of breathing on their own. Since they only practice breathing-like movements inside the womb and don’t actually breathe, it would be really difficult for premature babies to start breathing normally once they enter the outside world.
When is a baby premature?
The answer to how early can a baby be born and not called premature is at or after 35 weeks. At this stage, all the vital organs have been fully developed and the baby is ready to survive the harsh environment outside the womb.
She is now capable of fighting infections as the immune system is working fairly normally. Moreover, she has enough fat on her body to keep her warm and comfortable when it is cold outside. Before 35 weeks, however, the baby would need to be taken care of either under the strict supervision of adults or in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU. Premature babies are born with a very low birth weight. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult for them to survive.
Moreover, they are incapable of latching on their mother’s breast and hence it becomes extremely difficult to feed them. These babies are kept in the NICU primarily to provide them with oxygen and food. The food and proteins are administered through IV because the baby at this stage is incapable of swallowing. With the passage of time, these babies would develop the basic skills and start functioning normally.
But it does not happen before 3 to 4 weeks have passed. Babies born before 28 weeks have to be kept in the NICU for even longer durations of time before they are ready to be taken home. Since the outside world is so full of germs and viruses, it is recommended to keep these newly born babies in a very safe and protected environment even after they are released from the NICU. This is to protect them from any potential infection, which they would be unable to fight in the absence of a strong immune system.
Babies born before 28 weeks’ gestation
It is said that most babies born after 26 weeks’ gestation are able to survive only about a year because of several medical complications.
Since they are born premature, there might already be something wrong with one or more of their organs. At times it is the mother’s fault to have the baby delivered this early. In such a situation, the babies are given extra care and attention to make them survive and develop into healthy adults. About 25% of babies born before the safe delivery time develop physical and psychological disabilities later on in life
How early can a Baby Be Born and Live?
Most premature babies are able to live these days, thanks to the advanced medical technology and the availability of neonatal intensive care unit in the hospitals. However, the ideal gestation age is measured around 38 to 40 weeks depending on the health of the mother and her previous cases of miscarriages, C-sections or any other complications.
Today a baby born after 28 weeks has fairly good chances of survival but those born before 28 weeks with a birth weight of 2 to 3 lbs may not survive after completing few months to one year of their life.
How early is too early?
Many mothers ask the question how early a baby can be born and live. Well, the answer to this question depends on many different factors. Some babies are stronger than others at birth, while others are in need of intensive care unit to survive. Most babies born preterm come with breathing issues as their lungs are not fully functioning at this stage.
Especially babies born at around 28 weeks are quite fragile and they are in need of oxygen to be given through pipes as they are unable to breathe on their own. Why would a mother want to deliver her baby earlier than the due date? More often than not, moms plan their delivery around their own schedule, when they would be required to go back to work and so on.
This is very dangerous for the baby’s health later on in life. Although babies delivered at or around 37 weeks are normal and healthy, there might be some underlying health issues that even the doctors are unable to diagnose at this stage. Induced labor is not recommended in any case. It is usually best to wait for contractions to start naturally and at the right time.
However, if there is a complication, the doctors may intervene with this natural process. With the help and assistance of the NICU, these premature babies are able to survive the harsh outside world even if they are born around 28 weeks. However, before this time it cannot be said with certainty if the baby would survive. Outlook on premature birth It is said that the last few weeks of pregnancy are the most important for a baby’s growth and development especially for her nervous system and immune system. Babies born preterm might be more vulnerable to mental disorders than normal infants.
These include the ability to interact socially, developing fine motor skills, and be able to achieve all milestones at the right time. Premature birth may bring many disabilities later on in life even if the baby appears to be normal at birth and therefore it is never recommended to induce preterm labor.
The mothers are strongly advised to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet throughout the pregnancy to ensure a normal and full-term pregnancy. It is also recommended to give breast milk to the babies for at least a year after birth. Mother’s milk keeps the baby away from many serious infections especially if she was born pre-term.
How early can a Baby Be Born and Be Ok?
The ideal gestation age of a baby is 38 to 40 weeks. Most babies are however born around 37 weeks, which is also considered almost full-term. In such a case, there is rarely any complication involved and the birth process is also normal. However, in case of a complication, such as early water break or baby’s heartbeat dropping, the baby would have to be delivered early through C-section.
When this happens, the doctors usually try to wait till 28 weeks are complete to make sure the baby’s lungs are at least developed to some extent and to increase her chances of survival outside the womb. Premature Babies How early can a baby be born and be ok is a question many mothers ask before delivery. They are concerned about their child’s health and want to know if any health complications would follow.
Premature babies are those who are born before 36 weeks’ gestation period. However, their health is mostly dependent on their birth weight and their ability to breathe normally. It is said that all 40 weeks of pregnancy matter because a baby grows and develops step by step inside the womb. Although her body and organs are all formed and functioning at about 20 weeks, she is still not ready for the outside world yet.
The main reason is her under-developed lungs and low immunity. The baby may develop a fatal infection if not given proper care and nutrition once outside the womb. Premature babies have to be kept in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at least for 2 to 4 weeks. They are given nutrients through the IV and are also kept warm using overhead warmers. Their weight is kept under observation and so is their breathing.
Once they are able to breathe on their own, they are ready to go home. This facility provides a way to save many babies’ lives that are born before 36 weeks. In the absence of such a facility at the hospital, it would have been difficult for babies born after 33 weeks to survive on their own. Ideal Gestation Age Keep in mind that the ideal gestation age is 38 to 40 weeks. The baby develops many skills during this period and also her birth weight increases at this stage.
It is not recommended in any case to induce preterm labour unless and until there is a risk to the mother’s or baby’s life. Babies born at 37 weeks are also considered normal and full-term but at times their birth weight might not be optimal. 7 to 8 lbs is usually considered normal birth weight for any baby.
Some babies are born extremely healthy and their weight is around 9 to 10 lbs. This is rarely seen and especially in this age and time where the mothers do not eat healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy. Most babies are born one week or ten days earlier than their expected due date.
How early can a Baby Be Born and Be Healthy?
Although the ideal time for a baby to be delivered is at 37 weeks, some mothers start having contractions on and off around 28 weeks. Since these contractions are not coming regularly, they are not considered an onset of labour.
However, at times a complication arises and the baby needs to be delivered sooner than expected. In such a case, the baby is termed as premature and the chances of her survival outside the womb depend on the gestation week she is born in.
Moreover, factors like birth weight and overall health determine how long the baby will have to stay in the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit before heading home.
How early can a Baby Be Born and Be Healthy?
This is a question many moms-to-be ask because they don’t want to take any risks regarding their child’s health especially later on in life. Some complications are present at birth but they only materialize once the child grows up.
Breathing problems are more common and pronounced because the lungs of a baby are not fully developed even at the time of normal birth. They need outside assistance to develop completely so that the baby would be able to breathe like normal people do. The health of a baby is determined by how strong her immune system is and how well she deals with the outside world.
Lungs may have developed after 24 weeks’ gestation so if the baby is born even at 28 weeks, she might still grow up to be a healthy individual. However, the baby at this stage would definitely need the assistance of NICU to survive at least for the first few weeks of her life. Babies born after 28 weeks have good chances of survival and babies born at 35 to 37 weeks are mostly healthy and just like any other infant.
Babies born at 38 to 40 weeks are termed as full-term babies but due to our modern lifestyle and bad eating habits, this date is rarely achieved. Very rare babies are even born after the due date and at around 41 weeks. This is also considered normal but the baby would have to be monitored regularly inside the womb to see if her heartbeat is normal.
How to determine if the baby is healthy at birth?
Doctors have their own series of tests that allow them to determine that the baby is completely or partially healthy at birth and even inside the womb. An ultrasound gives them an estimate of the baby’s weight. If it is around 4 to 5 lbs, they consider it optimal even at 28 weeks’ gestation.
However, normal and ideal birth weight is around 7 to 8 lbs. Keep in mind that babies born before 22 weeks’ gestation do not survive in most cases. Their lungs are not fully developed, they are unable to suck and swallow like normal babies and they are also prone to many infections of the world outside the womb.