Healthier, Happier Babies and Families

The Facts on Premature Birth

  • 1 in every 8 babies are born prematurely every year
  • Prematurity is the leading cause of death among newborns.
  • All premature babies face a greater risk of medical complications and long-term disabilities.
  • Having delivered a previous premature baby, puts you at a 20-40% chance of having another premature baby.

(Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

Life After Birth at St. Mary’s

Premature birth is a major cause of serious health problems in the United States, with pre-term infants at greater risk of medical complications and long-term disabilities, such as chronic lung and heart disease, developmental delays, and feeding issues, which may require specialized care and support for months, and often years, after they are born.

St. Mary’s has been one of the pioneers of programs specifically designed to help premature infants live longer and better lives. Almost 40% of the 4,000 children that come to St. Mary’s are facing complications of premature birth. St Mary’s cares for pre-term infants through innovative programs and cutting edge technology, including rehabilitation and our renowned Center for Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program.

Premature babies who survive often face a series of life-long complications, even after spending weeks or months hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Some of these complications include

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Immature lungs
  • Feeding & digestive problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory issues
  • Infection
  • Jaundice
  • Inability to maintain body heat
  • Anemia

Nurses and therapists at St. Mary’s provide education and training to help support parents in caring for their preemie. Our care extends into the home where children receive the same expert care available at our inpatient facility.