preterm birth

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a coming into being; the act or process of being born.
birth certificate a written, authenticated record of the birth of a child, required by state laws throughout the United States. After a birth is registered, a birth certificate is issued which represents legal proof of parentage, age, and citizenship, and is of great personal and legal importance. A birth certificate is required for many legal and business or personal transactions. Whether the child is born at home or at the hospital, the physician, midwife, or other attendant must report the birth to the local or state registrar. The report becomes a permanent record, and a certificate is issued to the parents. If a child dies during birth, an immediate report and certification of the birth and death are required, containing a statement of the cause of death.
birth control the concept of limiting the size of families by measures designed to prevent conception. The movement of that name began in modern times as a humanitarian reform to conserve the health of mothers and the welfare of children, especially among the poor. More recently it has been superseded by the term family planning, which means planning the arrival of children to correspond with the desire and resources of the married couple. See also contraception.
multiple birth the birth of two or more offspring produced in the same gestation period.
premature birth (preterm birth) expulsion of the fetus from the uterus before termination of the normal gestation period, but after independent existence has become possible; defined as birth occurring before 37 completed weeks (295 days), counting from the first day of the last normal menstrual period. Approximately 6 to 8 per cent of all live births in the United States are premature, and premature births are the major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

preterm birth

Delivery occurring between 20 and 38 weeks' gestation. Neonatal morbidity and mortality are high because of physiological immaturity. Preterm neonates are at high risk for developing respiratory distress syndrome; intraventricular hemorrhage; sepsis; patent ductus arteriosus; retinopathy of prematurity; and necrotizing enterocolitis. Synonym: premature birth See: prematurity; preterm labor


When there is a risk of birth occurring between 24 and 34 weeks' gestation, corticosteroid therapy to stimulate fetal lung maturation and production of pulmonary surfactant should be considered; however, birth must occur in no less than 24 hr after administration. Therapy should be repeated weekly until 34 weeks' gestation. There is no evidence that this treatment is harmful to fetuses of either gender.


Corticosteroid therapy should not be administered if the mother has chorioamnionitis or if there is evidence that the drug will have an adverse effect on the mother. Caution is recommended in women who have diabetes mellitus and/or hypertension.

See also: birth
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The researchers also found that preterm births among Latina women were at its peak between February and July 2017.
And the result was the same: an increase in preterm births among Hispanic women.
Extremely preterm birth (less than 28 weeks) was associated with a threefold increased risk of CKD into mid-adulthood (13.33 per 100,000 person-years).
"Preterm birth is often a devastating maternal and birth outcome, leading to lifelong, adverse consequences for mothers and their babies," said Kevin Bramer, President and CEO of Lucina Health.
While preterm birth is a heterogeneous health-related condition, several risk factors are known and are routinely addressed during antenatal care (e.g., age, economic status and workplace conditions, inflammation and infection, and diet and nutrition).
Preterm birth is linked with both psychological and physical disabilities and is considered as the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality worldwide.
The current study was planned to investigate the benefit of monitoring pregnant women with high-risk pregnancy forpreventing preterm birth. The secondary objective was to analyse the main risk factors associated with preterm birth at a tertiary level regional emergency referral maternity centre.
The association between eczema and preterm birth was no longer significant among children born moderately preterm, Dr.
Schulze and her colleagues prospectively followed 69 couples in which the woman was admitted to the hospital at high risk of preterm birth. These women had a mean gestational age of 30 weeks and had symptoms of imminent preterm birth: shortening of the cervix, premature rupture of membranes, or active preterm labor.
Preterm births occur at <37 completed weeks' gestation and are one of the main adverse pregnancy outcomes.[sup][1] Preterm births account for approximately 75% of perinatal mortality and have long-term adverse consequences for health, such as cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and sensory deficits, which in turn impose a huge public health burden.[sup][2],[3] Preterm birth might result from many determinants, including biological factors (premature rupture of membranes and intrauterine infection) and other socioeconomic and environmental determinants (maternal occupation, maternal education, cultural level, and prenatal visits).[sup][4],[5] These socioeconomic and environmental determinants may be more important than biological factors for the sake of control and prevention.
In recent years, scientists have become all the more interested in the consequences of preterm birth on, amongst other things, cardiovascular health in young adults.
For white mothers, the preterm birth percentage fell to 8.88 percent in 2015, from 8.91 in 2014, and from 8.94 percent in 2013.