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What happens to a baby born at 27 weeks of gestation?

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Quick Answer

Very premature babies, those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy, are moved to the neonatal intensive care unit and monitored for infections, changes in breathing and heart rate, according to Mayo Clinic. They are kept warm in special beds called isolettes until they have enough body fat to retain heat. They are tube-fed or fed through a vein, depending on their condition. Tube feeding lasts until a baby is able to breathe, suck, swallow and can take all feedings by breast or bottle.

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Full Answer

Babies born at 27 weeks are considered very premature. Very premature and sick infants who need help breathing are aided by an oxygen tube or ventilator that moves air in and out of the lungs. These babies often need surgery. To give the baby extra protection from infection, mothers can pump breast milk and bottle feed it to their babies in the hospital, according to WebMD.

About 50 percent of babies born at 24 weeks survive, and nearly 92 percent born at 29 weeks survive. A baby’s gestational age is the most important predictor of survival, followed by birth weight. Even with modern advances in medicine and technology, many premature babies experience mild or severe developmental difficulties, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.

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