What Is the Prognosis for a 33-Week Preemie?

About 98 percent of premature babies born at 33 weeks gestation survive, according to BabyCenter. Thirty-three weeks is considered moderately premature by the American Academy of Pediatrics, so these babies have a better prognosis than infants born earlier. These babies typically do not have long-term health problems, but they have a higher risk of developmental delays, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

BabyCenter maintains that some premature infants born at 33 weeks gestation may have difficulty breathing or feeding from a breast or bottle. Occasionally, a 33-week preemie needs to be tube fed or given supplemental oxygen for a few days or weeks until the baby can eat or breathe independently.

Other problems a moderately preterm baby may experience include jaundice and difficulty regulating body temperature, issues also commonly experienced by preterm babies born between weeks 34 and 36, notes BabyCenter. Because 33 weeks is fairly late in the pregnancy, most of a baby's major development has been completed by this point. A 33-week preemie is typically thinner and smaller than a full-term baby born during or after the 37th week of pregnancy, and the baby's lack of body fat may necessitate the use of an incubator to help keep the baby's body warm, explains the American Academy of Pediatrics.