In this audio clip, Dr. Cynthia Bearer, chief of neonatology, discusses the prevalence and risk factors for premature births. One out of every 9 babies are premature in the U.S. These babies spend their first days in the neonatal intensive care unit, known as the NICU. According to Dr. Bearer, premature births have increased 30% in the past 30 years across the U.S. Risk factors for premature births include:
- Mothers who are taking taking elicit drugs or alcohol
- Mothers with high blood pressure or diabetes
- Poor maternal nutrition
- Mothers who have had previous miscarriages
- Mothers who have pregnancies with more than one baby
Many women who give birth prematurely have no known risk factors.
In the NICU at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, babies grow and thrive in a specialized environment. Their nutrition is closely managed, and they are supported by the latest technology and highly knowledgeable doctors and nurses. Most importantly, babies in the NICU thrive with the love and support of their parents.
This page was last updated: March 18, 2014