Babies born at 35 weeks are at risk for many of the same complications as earlier preterm babies, according to Time magazine. Late preterm infants (between 34 and 37 weeks gestation) are more likely to have breathing problems, including respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia. The American Pregnancy Association states that late preterm babies may also have a greater risk for jaundice, an inability to maintain body heat, digestive problems and anemia.
According to Time magazine, even at 37 weeks, there is an increased risk of respiratory problems in premature babies compared to full term babies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends against starting labor or a cesarean section until 39 weeks, unless it is medically necessary. With every week of gestation, the risk of complications decreases. In a 2010 study, Dr. Judith Hibbard at University of Illinois determined that 67 percent of babies born at 34 weeks required admission to a neonatal intensive care unit. Only 7 percent of those born at 38 weeks required admission. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that late preterm babies often look like full-term infants and may be the same size. This may cause parents and health care providers to treat them as full-term infants, not realizing that they require special care. These late-term births make up 70 percent (377,000) of all premature births in 2005. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that the increase shown in premature births is a direct result of an increase in late preterm births.