In humans preterm birth is the birth of a baby of less than 37 weeks gestational age. The cause of preterm birth is in many situations elusive and unknown; many factors appear to be associated with the development of preterm birth, making the reduction of preterm birth a challenging proposition. Premature birth is defined either as the same as preterm birth, or the birth of a baby before the developing organs are mature enough to allow normal postnatal survival. Premature infants are at greater risk for short and long term complications, including disabilities and impediments in growth and mental development. Significant progress has been made in the care of premature infants, but not in reducing the prevalence of preterm birth. Preterm birth is among the top causes of death in infants worldwide. Infants who were born prematurely are colloquially referred to as 'preemies' or 'premmies.'
Contributions by Ciotog, AudreyS, and 18.104.22.168.