preterm birth

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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 More recently it has been superseded by the term family planning, which means planning the arrival of children to correspond with the desire and resources of the married couple.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.

preterm birth

any birth that occurs before the thirty-seventh week of gestation. See also premature infant.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
On November 17, 2015, the March of Dimes unveiled a plan to focus more attention and resources on these "high population and/or high-burden" areas with the goal of reducing the nation's preterm birth rate to 5.
The findings underscore the need to counsel teen mothers that smoking cessation at any point in pregnancy will reduce the risk for preterm birth, Dr.
Precious lives lost due to complications from preterm births can and must be saved , says Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.
Researchers explained that direct complications from preterm birth during an infant's first 28 days accounts for 965,000 deaths.
The study also shows that African-American women have shorter intervals of birth spacing and higher preterm births overall.
The developed world's overall preterm birth rate came in at 8.
Lawn said preterm births account for half of all newborn deaths worldwide and the second - after pneumonia - leading cause of deaths in children under five.
Ifs critical to determine the multiple causes of preterm birth so that effective therapies can be developed for each kind," stresses Roxanne Holt, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow and co-lead author of the study.
have found that elective pregnancy terminations in the first and second trimesters are associated with a very small but apparently real increase in the risk of subsequent spontaneous preterm birth (PTB).
More than one in eight Oklahoma families has experienced preterm births, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which recently declared preterm births a state "public health crisis.
In twin pregnancies the rate of spontaneous preterm birth before 34 weeks is about 13%, compared with 1% in singletons.
Preterm birth is an important cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide.