• Question: If you are born premeture does it mean that you will not grow as much as a person that is born late?

    Asked by 10retdreb to Hannah, Ian, Jono, Mark on 26 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10retdreb,
      My friend had a premature baby and he is taller than me 😛

      If a baby is born early, it will still grow the same as a baby that is still in the mother. We just have to simulate the womb and all the conditions and nutrients the baby would normally get if they were still inside their mother. This is why we put premature babies inside an incubator. Its like an electronic womb.
      If we care for them and protect them, then they will grow just as big as there brothers and sisters.

      If a baby is born small then as long as we feed them and protect them and love them, they grow as big and strong as everyone else

      So I weighed 10 pounds when I was born…..I was a big baby, but now I’m really small compared to my friends. I think I was just greedy and ate all my mums food when I was in her womb 😛

    • Photo: Mark Hodson

      Mark Hodson answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10retdreb,

      no though because the’re premature the babies are smaller. Because people give your age from your birth date children who were premature babies can be smaller than babies of the same age who were born on their due date or later just because they’ve been growing for less time. However, over time this sorts itself out – a bit like the staggered start of a sprint.



    • Photo: Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10retdreb,

      No, usually people who were born prematurely catch up with those born late. They just grow faster in the first few months. This means they often need to be fed more to give them the nutrients they need to grow enough to catch up.

      A friend of mine was really premature and refused to eat all the food her parents tried to give her to help her grow. As a result, she’s quite short now, even though her brother’s an average height. If she’d eaten more when she was young she might have grown to be taller.



    • Photo: Jono Bone

      Jono Bone answered on 27 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10retdreb,
      I was a premature baby and was a very small but was a normal sized child and now i’m 5ft 10 (154 cm). Height has more do to with your genetics, if your mum/dad/grandparents/great-grand parents were tall there’s a good chance you will inherit those genes!