Northwestern skilled at handling the preterm birth in Chicago
Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, in partnership with Prentice Women’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial, is the practice of choice for many expanding families. We look forward to healthy deliveries every day, but understand that there are risks with any pregnancy. Our patients can rely on our many years of experience gained through advanced education and thousands of deliveries. When faced with preterm birth, our Chicago, patients can gain peace of mind knowing our collective team knows what to do to protect the health of the developing baby.
There are three different categories into which preterm can be classified, each coinciding with the baby’s gestational age.
- A late preterm birth occurs sometime between 34 and 37 weeks (full term being 37 -41 weeks). Babies born at this time may look very much as expected, weighing between from 4 to 7 pounds. The late preterm baby, due to more time in the womb, has more mature lungs and may be better able to maintain a steady blood glucose level, though may require advanced post-natal care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Advanced care may be geared towards infection prevention, blood sugar and blood pressure control, and the prevention of hypothermia.
- General preterm birth occurs at 32-34 weeks where babies may weigh 2-4 pounds. There can be breathing or bowel problems, in addition to those mentioned above. Usually steroids are given to help lung maturity. Causes could be bleeding due to abruption or previa, preterm labor, premature ruptured membranes or preeclampsia. Depending on the cause, we may be aggressive in stopping the labor, if the health of mother and baby allows.
- Very preterm births occur between week 28 and week 32, at which time the baby may way between two and four pounds. At this time, lungs have not fully developed and the newborn is at risk for breathing problems as well as infection. At this point, assisted feeding will be necessary.
- Extremely preterm births, occurring before 28 weeks, are understandably stressful for expecting parents and their health care team. Fortunately, the various advances in medicine in recent years have significantly improved the outcome for this category of preterm birth. Northwestern has a very successful special care nursery to deal with these babies.
The Northwestern Women’s Health Associates team delivers at Prentice Women’s Hospital. Preterm births experienced in this facility are handled by the renowned Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial. This NICU has been designed and equipped to care for the smallest patients, who receive round-the-clock care from an expert medical staff. Monitoring and treating over 800 ill or premature newborns each year, the Renée Schine Crown unit is well known for its sophistication and personal attention to each patient.
Your health care team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, can see you through your pregnancy experience. Contact us at 312-440-9400.