Research suggests that babies born just a few weeks early have a slightly higher risk of health problems in infancy. Previous work has focused on babies born very prematurely, before 32 weeks. According to doctors their work challenged extensively held views that offspring born after 37 weeks had similar long-term outcomes to those born at full term.
The study was carried out by the universities of Leicester, Liverpool, Oxford and Warwick and the National Perinatal Epidemiology division. The authors of the study were at pains to stress those parents should not be anxious about what was a modest chance of extra illness. According to Andy Cole, chief executive of the special care baby charity Bliss, This study highlights the need for the very best care to be given to all babies born preterm no matter at what gestation, and not just those admitted to intensive care.