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Premature Babies Week by Week


Updated May 29, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Premature Babies Born at 35-36 Weeks
Nolan, a preemie born at 35 weeks.

Nolan, a preemie born at 35 weeks.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Locke

Premature babies born at 35 to 36 weeks are called late preterm infants. These babies are about 20 inches long, and usually weigh between 5 1/2 and 6 pounds. Although 35 and 36 weekers look just like full term babies, they are still premature, and may face some problems of prematurity.

By the last weeks of pregnancy, most babies have turned to a head down position. They have reached their full height, and are gaining weight rapidly. Although they look like full term babies, 35 and 36 weekers are premature babies. Their lungs won't be completely developed for another couple of weeks, and they may not have enough fat to stay warm or enough strength to breast or bottle feed effectively.

Read More:

  • FAQs About Late Preterm Infants
  • Newborn Screening in the NICU
  • Preemie Stories: Graison, Born at 35 Weeks
  • Readers' Stories: Late Preterm Infants
  • Sources:

    MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. "Fetal Development" accessed Aug 5, 2010 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm

    Curtis, Glade and Schuler, Judith. Your Pregnancy Week by Week. 6th ed. Da Capo, 2008.

    Murkoff, Heidi and Sharon Mazel. What to Expect When You're Expecting. 4th ed. Workman, New York, 2008

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