Becoming pregnant is the happiest moment in a woman’s life. The first touch, first hold of your baby is priceless. But sometimes, it is sad to see your child trapped in machines for survival when childbirth has occurred before full term. Here, we will talk about the difference between a term baby and a preterm baby.
A term baby is born at term or after 38 weeks of pregnancy with an average birth weight of more than 2500 gm whereas a preterm baby born before 37 completed weeks usually weighs 2500 gm or less. If the baby is born after 42 weeks of pregnancy, then the baby is considered a post term baby.
A pregnancy normally lasts about 40 weeks or 9 months and 7 days calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. Most babies are born at term but some might be born before 37 weeks of pregnancy due to some risk factors including previous preterm birth, pregnancy complications or multiple births.
A healthy infant born at term between 38 to 42 weeks should have an average birth weight of more than 2500 gm, cries immediately following birth, establishes spontaneous respiration and adapts to the changing environment is considered as a term baby.
The birth weight can vary between 2.7 to 3.6 kg and length is 50-52 cm.
Preterm baby (premature baby)
A preterm baby is one born before 37 completed weeks of gestation calculating from the first day of the last menstrual period.
The babies born before 37 completed weeks usually weigh 2500 grams or less with a length is less than 44 cm.
The head and the abdomen look larger and skull bones are soft with a wide suture gap. Due to lack of fat, the skin looks thin, red and shiny covered with hair and muscle tone is poor.
Baby born before 37 completed weeks requires special care.
In the above post, we discussed the difference between a term baby and a preterm baby.