Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
Having a full-term pregnancy is best for your baby’s health. Full-term pregnancies usually last about 40 weeks.
When a baby is born earlier than 37 weeks, it’s called a preterm or premature birth. Babies who are born early can have health problems that may last their whole lives.
Some women are more likely to go into labor early. Those with a short or weak cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina) or who have had a premature baby before are more likely to go into labor early. In these cases, the doctor may recommend treatments such as:
Women who are having twins also are more likely to go into labor early. These treatments can’t prevent early labor if you’re carrying more than one baby.
Moms who think they’re in labor or are having contractions (belly pains or cramps) should call their doctor or midwife right away. If there’s any bleeding or your water breaks (which can be an on-and-off leak, a steady leak, or a gush of fluid), it’s important to get to a hospital right away.
If labor starts early, it’s best to go to a hospital that has a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Hospitals with a NICU specialize in treating preterm babies. Care for a woman in preterm labor can include:
Doctors won’t try to stop contractions if the baby is more than 34 weeks and the lungs are developed, or if there are worries about the mother’s or baby’s health.
Preterm birth can’t always be prevented. But moms-to-be can help lower their chances of going into labor too soon. Here’s the best advice:
If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, meet with your doctor. Women who get regular prenatal care are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and baby.
The sooner in pregnancy good careÂ begins, the better for theÂ health of both moms and their babies. Here’s what to expect.
It’s best for babies not to be born before they’re due. Learn what you can do to prevent early labor.
Here’s how to tell the difference between true labor and false labor — and when to get medical care.
Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. It can be even harder if you’re dealing with depression or anxiety.
Moms-to-be have a lot of questions about what’s safe during pregnancy. Keep your sanity by knowing what you can – and can’t – do before your baby arrives.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Premature infants, known as preemies, come into the world earlier than full-term infants. They have many special needs that make their care different from other babies.
Babies who are born premature – before 37 weeks of pregnancy – can have health problems that last their whole lives. Learn ways to prevent early labor and have a healthy pregnancy.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.