Late preterm babies born from 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy may be at an increased risk for modest developmental and academic problems up to age 7, when compared to babies born at full term. Evidence suggests that significant adverse developmental outcomes among late preterm infants, which further indicates that longer term outcomes of prematurity, remain a concern even for those infants born at the more optimistic late preterm stages of pregnancy.
Babies born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation were at greater risk for developmental delays, and scored lower on standardized tests of academic achievement, compared to infants born at term. Mark Batshaw, MD, Chief Academic officer at children’s National Medical centre in Washington D.C says “ Every well baby check-up should involve a developmental screening to see if the child is starting to lag and if that lag is seen on two successive evaluations, a referral for formal testing and evaluation may be warranted”.
- MC Gowan, I.E Paediatrics, 2011
- Journal of child language 34 (3), 655-675, 2007