Not sure if DS should be counted as prem at 36wks?

(8 Posts)

Silly question, as I know he was 'officially' premature, but 36wks is so close to 37 when he would have been considered full-term, so should I count him as a preemie or not?
He was born at 36wks exactly (waters broke 35+5), 5lb 5oz, kept in for just four days for antibiotics and jaundice. Now a 10mo healthy happy(ish) boy, just a bit smaller/lighter than his contemporaries (approx 17lb).
Although we had lots of problems with feeding, reflux and sleeping, it seems silly for me to describe him as prem - especially after reading a few of the threads here with 'proper' very early preemies and parents going through much more serious situations. It almost feels offensive for me to think of my DS as preemie when we didn't have to go through anything too awful.
I've been told by several people that he was really only a week early, but I still think of him as four weeks early, so who's right?
It just felt to me like he was too early as I'm sure he wasn't ready for his grand entrance just yet, and he's def behind in some things (only started properly weaning at 7mo, and still no teeth!).
Any thoughts? Am i being oversensitive on other people's behalf?

belgo Sun 04-Mar-12 19:32:33

Yes he was prem, a month early. There is nothing offensive about saying he was prem, because it is true.

You might be interested to read this article, about potential health risks to pre term babies.

My DD was the same. Waters broke at 35 weeks and I think I made it to 35.5 But she weighed 7lb 12! And was fine. She was always about a month to six weeks behind the other babies - bf was very difficult and she was slightly late walking and talking. But by about 18 months she was more or less where they were and by 2 was completely caught up. I think it's fair to say she was prem but in fact her size masked some of the slight problems she had. But that's all water under the bridge for us now and it sounds like it is for you as well so I never think about it any more (she's 5, btw, and has fully caught up!)

Thank you belgo and margo , I always sound a bit apologetic when people ask me how old he is "...but he was a little bit early", as they always comment on how small he is for his age... I shall feel a bit more comfortable saying he was prem next time!
Interesting article too, thank you!

Osprey Thu 05-Apr-12 20:47:20

My daughter was born at 36+4 and I tended to say she was early rather than prem although it was a big shock when she arrived!
My son was born at 34+6 and I do say prem (he spent 4 weeks in SCBU), although people will say 'oh he wasn't that prem.' Someone will always comment!

loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 12-Apr-12 15:45:49

He wasn't a week early - babies aren't routinely born at 37 weeks. A full pregnancy is 40 weeks as this includes the strange bit at the beginning where you're not actually pregnant. Your due date is a due date for a reason, albeit only estimated...

I would tell anyone who suggested he was a week early to check their facts about pregnancy.

Sokmonsta Fri 21-Sep-12 08:18:23

I'm glad I've been directed to this, albeit old, thread. I had twins in April at 36+5. They are classed as premature at 36 weeks. The hv etc only count full weeks. I've struggled with it as they were only prem by a squeak and I feel like I'm constantly justifying their size, particularly my daughter. But the hospital insisted they had to be considered premature because a) they were and b) they didn't even figure on the term charts in the red book. It doesn't help that people I know had term babies later than mine and constantly go 'oh x can roll over and y can sit up'. Whoopdee doo. For the record, dts has at 24 weeks just started to roll from back to front. He spends a lot of time on his back, holding his feet and just rocking. Dtd just isn't that bothered I think. She's more interested in holding her clothes and sucking them. I checked their elder siblings red books and actually, developmentally there isn't a huge difference at the moment. So can someone please explain why I feel so guilty saying they are premature?

MrsJamin Thu 11-Oct-12 22:07:56

DS2 was born at 35+6, so on the verge of the hospital's 36wks=term rule. However I have never used the word "premature" as he fed fine, didn't need any special care etc. I just say he came a month early. he's definitely had a month's lag behind in development and he's a petite little thing, but you don't know what they would be like at term anyway.

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