The length of a pregnancy is on average 266 days, or around 38 weeks long. A baby that is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is described as having been born prematurely. During pregnancy, a baby grows and the organ systems develop. The more prematurely a baby is born, the more likely that he or she will be born a small size, with low muscle tone (floppy), have little body fat and with organ systems that have not developed as much as those of a baby who is born at full term.

Around 8% of babies are born prematurely. A baby may be born prematurely because of a medical condition affecting the pregnant woman, or because of factors related to the pregnancy or baby. In many cases there are no apparent risk factors for the premature birth.

It is important that an unborn baby’s gestational age is properly assessed with an early ultrasound and that babies born before 37 weeks are carefully monitored and supported to reduce risks of serious complications.

How can we help?

If you have questions or if you are looking for community support - please contact us for free and confidential information

CP Smile Project

The CP Smile Project is a community project that helps ensure children with cerebral palsy have access to recreational opportunities that allow them to engage in play and community involvement. We give monthly bursaries to families to help them provide the support needed for their child to engage in play and have fun.