A preterm a baby is a baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. According to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau a study done in 2013 preterm babies born to different races in the United States “11.54 percent of babies were born preterm. Of those baby’s 16.53 percent of babies were born to non-Hispanic black women, 10.29 percent of babies were born to non-Hispanic white women, 10.15 percent of the babies born preterm were born to Asian/Pacific islander women, and 11.58 babies born preterm were born to Hispanic women.” (Child Health USA 2013, 2013) Racial and cultural disparities in preterm are sometimes attributed to education, age, income, demographics, if the mother has access to proper care and insurance, health behaviors such as abuse, and preexisting health conditions.
It is fortunate that with modern technological advances preterm babies have a better advantage in surviving then in the past. But unfortunately, there are also risk factors that are involved of preterm birth. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention babies that are born before 32 weeks are at a higher risk of death and disabilities which include breathing problems, feeding difficulties, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, vision problems, and hearing problems. (Reproductive Health, 2017) Extreme low birth weight babies and preterm babies pose an economical cost to the family, health care industry, and the community, as more care will cost especially if the baby needs to be at the healthcare facility for a longer period for assessment and growth. Long term disabilities and long-term care can affect the families economically and socially at home as they may need ongoing professional help and will also lead to stress and problems for the family. Families need to prepare themselves when a preterm baby is born and be ready to address and complications, disabilities, and difficulties.