From the moment we find out that we are pregnant, we worry - especially as new mothers - about every little thing. One of our greatest fears is that our baby will be born prematurely before it is strong enough to get by in this world.

It's normal to have these fears and apprehensions. The reality is also that premature birth can occur. I'm a mom here at Rookie and my firstborn was born at 35 weeks (6 weeks early). So that was a late premature birth. Thank goodness he was a very strong and healthy boy and so he developed well. But that can also look different. I would like to share some of my experiences with you and also talk about the signs to look out for.

There are different types of preterm births, depending on how far along you are at the time of birth. Premature babies usually have some medical problems and developments to contend with.

Late preterm birth: born between 34 and 36 completed weeks of pregnancy
Moderate preterm birth: born between 32 and 34 weeks gestation
Severe premature birth: born less than 32 weeks gestation
Extremely Preterm: Born at 25 weeks gestation or earlier

Before you continue reading here, I just want to remind you what a strong and incredible woman you are! Babies who are born prematurely need extra love, and it won't always be easy, but that doesn't mean you did anything wrong. We wish your little treasure health, strength and happiness in infinite abundance.

Some things to expect in a premature baby:

  • small size
  • Fine hair that covers the body and usually sheds after childbirth
  • low body temperature
  • breathing problems
  • Difficulty with reflexes such as sucking and swallowing

The causes of preterm birth are not always known, but there are some important factors that can increase the risk:

  • A past premature birth
  • Stressful Life Events
  • Some internal infections or problems related to the cervix, uterus, and placenta
  • Physical injuries or trauma
  • Smoking or drinking during pregnancy

Pregnancy is exhausting, and while it's not often acknowledged, it demands so much from us. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves and get as much rest as possible.