- The central nervous system has increased control over body functions.
- Rhythmic breathing movements occur.
- The lungs are not fully mature.
- The bones are fully developed, but still soft and pliable.
- The weight is about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.
- The length is about 15 to 16 inches.
Babies born earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy are called premature or preterm. Babies born between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy are called full term. Babies born close to full term have the best chance to survive and do well. The earlier a baby is born, the more likely he or she is to have serious health problems which may require extended hospital care or long term care outside the hospital. Advances in medicine and science will hopefully continue to improve the chances for survival for even the smallest babies.
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© 2003 Texas Department of Health. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Drawings courtesy of TDH Art Department