Friday, March 17, 2023

Corrected age for premature babies

Premature birth of a child:

If your baby was born early, you actually have 2 important dates to remember. The day your baby was born which is the official date of birth and the original due date.

When measuring your baby's development, that is, when considering what is appropriate behavior for a baby her age, keep these two dates in mind. Calculate the difference between the two and adjust the baby's age to account for her prematurity to get the corrected age.

For the first 2 years, use baby's corrected age to get a better idea of when your baby will be meeting developmental milestones.

Calculating the corrected age is not difficult:

Here's how to do it:
Start with your baby's chronological age in weeks (number of weeks from date of birth) and then subtract the number of weeks prematurity. This is your baby's corrected date. (A full-term pregnancy consists of 39 weeks of gestation.)
To determine your baby's number of weeks prematurity, subtract 40 from her gestational age at birth.

For example:

If your baby was born at 32 weeks gestation, he or she is 8 weeks (2 months) premature. If the baby is 4 months old (16 weeks from birth), her corrected age is 2 months. In this case, even though your baby is 4 months old, you should expect her developmental milestones to be those of a full-term 2-month-old baby. It would be unrealistic to expect your baby to turn from her stomach to her back, as this is an accomplishment expected of a full-term 4-month-old baby.

Your baby may be beginning to hold his head up and smile, which is a normal developmental milestone for a full-term 2-month-old baby and a 2-month-old corrected-age preemie.

Parents often become frustrated when well-meaning friends and family members express concern about their baby's development. For example, people think their baby is developmentally delayed, even though in reality their baby is meeting the milestones for their corrected age of 2 months of age.