Health conditions of preterm infants

The earlier in pregnancy babies are born, the less developed their organs will be. Many health conditions can result from the immaturity of important organs and systems including lung, heart, digestive tract, brain, immune system, and eyes.
Medical support aims at helping a baby born preterm to achieve similar growth and development as in the womb at the same age. The medical team needs to recognise and monitor the special needs of a preterm baby to provide appropriate care and support until the baby reaches maturity of most important body functions.

We summarized some medical conditions that may be seen in preterm or ill born babies. We try to explain what these conditions are, which babys have a higher risk of being affected, and how the condition might be diagnosed and managed. However, each baby is different and individual. The conditions listed may not be relevant to a baby's situation. The medical team has a lot of experience in treating these conditions.

We encourage parents to read only what they feel would be helpful to them and their child’s particular circumstances.

As with all other information on our website, the information given here is not to be considered medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. To find out more about specific conditions, don’t hesitate to ask health experts.

A warm thank you to Professor Neil Marlow for his kind advice on the medical content about health conditions of preterm infants.

Content was last reviewed in December 2016

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