Research on Premature Babies
This page will provide links to new studies or research on prematurity / premature babies/ issues faced by parents .  With 15 million babies born worldwide premature each year and over one million not surviving, it is so important that research keeps going to help and support all these families.

Antioxidant shown to reduce blindness risk in extremely premature babies

Study finds multiple risk factors can contribute to preterm birth, including shorter cervical length, abnormal uterine Doppler flow, use of marijuana pre-pregnancy, lack of overall feeling of well being, being of Caucasian ethnicity, having a mother with diabetes and/or a history of preeclampsia, and a family history of low birth weight babies.

Premature babies are more likely to survive in hospitals with high-level NICUs than in hospitals without such facilities, and the benefit is greater than previously thought.

Research helps doctors to better understand sepsis in preterm babies

New research identifies molecular causes of pre-eclampsia, a leading cause of preterm birth

Study finds that vaginal delivery is as safe as caesarean for most preterm births

New research shows that a small amount of fortification can improve growth rates without sacrificing the benefits of breast milk for very low birth weight  babies.

Treatment for cervical disease does not increase risk of premature birth

Research finds an increased risk of prematurity and low birth weight after three or more abortions

New German research identifies a molecular pathway that leads to pre-eclampsia, thus creating new opportunities for the development of treatments

Study shows pregnant women who have previously had preterm births may avoid another preterm birth if given  progestogens

Researchers in Sweden have developed a simple test to predict preterm birth

European research shows premature babies at higher risk of suffering long term health complications

Research shows that premature babies’ brains reap long term benefit from skin-to-skin contact

A new set of guidelines developed in the US for the care of extremely  premature infants has proven life changing

Higher risk of preterm delivery  for women undergoin g  multiple caesareans

Babies born at 37 weeks should be classed as premature. The definition of a premature birth should be raised to more than 37 weeks, as babies currently considered full term could still benefit from more time in the womb, a study has suggested.

Antioxidant Shown to Reduce Blindness Risk in Extremely Premature Babies

New Musical Pacifier Helps Premature Babies Get Healthy

Breakthrough’ in premature birth research by Irish scientists. Irish researchers examining the cause of premature births could form a breakthrough in the struggle to reduce infant mortality

Left Hand – Right Hand, Premature Babies Make the Link. From the 31st week of pregnancy, preterm babies are capable of recognizing with one hand an object they have already explored with the other. This ability, known as "intermanual transfer," has been demonstrated in premature infants.

A significant breakthrough on premature labour and pre-eclampsia has been made by researchers at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) at Trinity College Dublin and Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

Study finds that premature babies have an increased risk of developing a psychiatric illness in adulthood.

Breakthrough research shows that mothers who deliver early or develop pre-eclampsia have higher levels of foetal DNA in their blood

Research identifies smoking as a risk factor associated with the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants

Premature birth rates have fallen in just three countries over past 20 years – report

Irish firm hopes to save premature babies with new research

Study finds that cerebral damage and retinopathy of prematurity are associated with visual impairment amongst preschool children who were born very prematurely

First ever national level estimates and time series study finds that preterm birth rates have decreased in just three countries in the past 20 years

The World Health Organisation report ‘Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth’ provides the first ever national, regional and global estimates on preterm birth. The report shows the extent to which preterm birth is on the rise in most countries and is now the leading cause of death globally for children under five, after pneumonia.

For further information and to download the report:

Executive Summary:

WHO Preterm birth factsheet:

A breakthrough UK study has found that preterm babies would benefit from starting milk feeds early.

Study finds that breastfed preterm infants are at risk of nutritional deficit as the supplementation of breast milk is often discontinued once they leave hospital

Study finds that from the 31st week of pregnancy, preterm babies are capable of recognizing with one hand and object they have already explored with the other.

Pregnancy Medical Homes Gain Momentum in north Carolina

March for Babies Fights Premature Birth Defects

Premature Baby gets Pacemaker Fifteen Minutes after Birth

Low Birth Weight Infants - Maternal and Infant Risk Factors

Mother's Voice May Help Premature Babies Breathe Easier

Maternal Obesity linked to delays in development in very preterm infants

Smoke ban cuts premature births

UK study shows that preterm babies are have a higher risk of asthma and other health problems

Premature baby born in California with congenital heart defect gets pacemaker 15 minutes after birth

US study looks at risk factors that contribute to the death of preterm infants in their first year

Study finds that premature babies are less likely to stop breathing or have their heart rate slow when listening to mother’s voice

Study links maternal obesity to delays in development in very preterm infants

Public smoking ban in Scotland results in dramatic decrease in premature births there

Premature babies may face problems later according to latest research. Full-term is generally between 37 weeks and 41 weeks; newborns born before 37 weeks are called premature and are known to face increased chances for health and developmental problems.

Babies born just a few weeks early struggle more at school. Babies who are born just a few weeks early could go on to struggle at school, research suggests. Scientists found a little more time in the womb may result in greater brain development and better scores on academic tests.

Premature Infants Do Feel Pain from Procedures: Recently, the accuracy of current methods of pain assessment in babies have been called into question. New research measures brain activity in infants to better understand their pain.

Baby born at 21 weeks and 5 days

North West trial of alternatives to ventilators for helping premature babies to breathe could reduce the risk of lung problems and other complications for around 7,000 babies a year.

Scientists funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) have shown, for the first time, how our brain 'wiring' develops in the first few months of life. Using a new imaging technique, the scientists monitored the formation of insulating layers around nerve cells, a process called myelination, which is vital for normal brain function. Damage to the myelination process is believed to contribute to a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including autism and intellectual disability.

Pioneering treatment reduces disability in premature babies with serious brain hemorrhage

Babies are born earlier when their mothers live near a concentration of freeways and main roads, a study of 970 mothers and their newborn babies in Logan City, south of Brisbane, has found.

Study finds preterm birth clinic attendance leads to major reduction in infant disability

Study points to genetic link in apnea of prematurity. A potentially life-threatening challenge characterized by pauses in breathing that can last for more than 20 seconds, apnea of prematurity (AOP) affects more than 50 percent of premature infants and is almost universal in the smallest of preemies.

Study on the effects of mouthwash during pregnancy in preventing Preterm deliveries.

Research into the growth rate of the Cerebral Cortex and the predictions in later life of speaking, thinking, planning & paying attention.[status]=3&search[sort]=date+des

Risks for illness among Preemies in later life

Study into whether Breast-feeding can help pain in some NICU patients

Research into the effects of Steroids on Brain Development in Premature Babies

Researchers Identify a Breast Milk Protein That Shows Promise in Treating a Deadly Intestinal Disease in Premature Newborns

Study questions twin-pregnancy weight-gain limits

First use of high-field MRI in developing brain reveals previously undetectable injuries

Gates Foundation Commits Millions To Fighting Infant Mortality

Quest to End Premature Births Worldwide Takes Momentous Step Forward

Preterm birth predictor inching closer to marketability

Report on research and what other disciplines can help with prematurity - What do artificial intelligence, mathematics and engineering have to do with premature birth?

Report shows decline in teen births, prematurity, C-sections

New Analysis shows the links between a shorten cervix and the treatment of vaginal progesterone helping prevent preterm births.

Australian researchers have found that the baroreflex -- the system that regulates blood pressure -- does not mature as quickly in babies who are born preterm. As a result, the baroreflex may not be able to compensate as quickly when there is a drop in blood pressure increasing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Research in the U.S.A. - How two of the Smallest Birth Weight Babies are doing as they are now older.

Research at Duke University Medical Centre and Nicholas School of the Environment in the US found potentially dangerous microbes including parasites and Candida fungus. 

Research in the University of Groningen in the Netherlands comparing behavioural problems and mental health of preterm babies and normal term deliveries.

Study of data at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - indicates the positive of effects of steroids in helping to keep Premature Babies alive.

Katri Rikkonen, Professor of Psychology at University of Helsinki, on the effects of Prematurity on your IQ level when an adult.

Canadian research team have found that having a prior abortion increased the risk of having a premature birth any subsequent birth also being preterm.

Research regarding baby’s first foods carried out in The University of Nottingham in England and comprises of baby- led weaning – self feeding – via- parental spoon feeding with purees.

Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine & Maternal Fetal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, studying the side effects of C – Sections found that on babies small for gestational age and born before 34 weeks had an increased risk of developing respiratory distress syndrome.

A study was conducted in Washington University in St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Centre, St. Louis, Mo.; and Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St. Louis, Mo. Found that hat women who deliver their first baby early are more likely to have a subsequent baby that is small for its gestational age, even when the second pregnancy is carried to term.

A new study into weight and diet, on the risk of having a second preterm baby carried out by a high risk expert in the University of Rochester, U.S.A.

New devices could hold key to predicting premature births are currently undergoing trials in England. These devices will be able to assess a woman's cervix to establish the risk of her having a premature birth, by using electrical impulses to take measurements of the resistance of tissue in the cervix.

Baby girl Jaya Maharaj – nine weeks early, 3.5 pounds was 15 minutes old when she given a pacemaker that saved her life. Her heart was slightly bigger than a walnut — had been diagnosed before birth with a severe heart defect. She is smaller than any pacemaker recipient ever reported in the medical literature.

This study is on the risks of High Blood Pressure and the effects of anti hypertensives.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing conducted a study that establishes an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders. They have found a link between low birth weight and autism diagnoses, reporting that premature infants are five times more likely to have autism than children born at normal weights

A discovery by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies might explain why some premature infants fail to respond to existing treatments for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and offers clues for new ways to treat the breathing disorder as a new respiratory syndrome is discovered by scientists.

New research into N.E.C. shows a link in salivary epidermal growth factor (sEGF) in premature infants to determine the correlation to the development of NEC.

Study shows that stress may affect preemies' brains including intensive-care stressors range from diaper changes to invasive procedures in the N.I.C.U.’s

IVIG offers 'no extra help' to sick babies – Treating newborn babies with an expensive blood product to fight a deadly infection does not increase their chances of survival, a study has found.

Study into baby massage and the positive effects it has on Premature Babies 

University research is offering hope for the long-term respiratory health of premature babies. Research in Cardiff University shows improvement when they reach teenage years.

Research into RSV and the higher incidence in African American infants. 130653678.html

Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association have found Premature Babies May Face Long-Term Health Problems and have higher rates of mortality rates than that of their counterparts.

Stem cell patch could save thousands of pregnancies by repairing foetus' membrane

Milwaukee-based researchers study prenatal exposure to toxins including early screening of preterm infants for disease.

A study has found that a minimally invasive way of helping pre-term babies breathe better reduced the need for mechanical ventilation.

Motherly Care Reduces Pain Felt by Infants: Study

Babies Can Distinguish Between Painful Stimuli and Touch From 35-37 Weeks Gestation

Scientists have found 80 per cent of premature births can be spotted early using a test given during the second trimester of pregnancy. A blood test which could tell mothers if they are at high risk of giving birth prematurely could be available soon.

Doctors have known that the bleeding and hydrocephalus were linked, but they weren't sure why. A new study suggests the answer lies in a lipid that's common in blood but that can also profoundly disrupt brain structure and function when it's present in large quantities.

Neonatal and Infant Feeding Disorders Program Saves Infants from Lifetime of Feeding Tubes

Breastfeeding tied to brainpower of kids - In a new study from the UK, kids who were breastfed as babies had higher scores on tests of vocabulary and reasoning at age five than those who weren’t breastfed.

Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that BRAIN DAMAGE that occurs in the womb does not occur randomly but is linked to the specific action of a naturally occurring fatty molecule called LPA, acting through a receptor that transfers information into young brain cells.

Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham - A new tool more quickly identifies premature infants at risk for life-threatening illness called the Heart Rate Observation System (HeRO),. HeRO is the first non-invasive technique for early detection of infection in such a high-risk population which gives real-time results instead of waiting on blood tests.

Effectiveness of a parent "Buddy" program for mothers of very preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit

Research and information into the effects on Parents of having a baby in the NICU

Information into the possible help of Vitamin D to help prevent premature birth

Relationship between parents and their preterm baby.

A study from the Stanford University School of Medicine showed over half the parents whose babies were in the NICU for an extended period of time either had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or were at high risk for developing

A study carried out by Duke University graded parents on three PTSD symptoms: hyperarousal, avoidance, and flashbacks or nightmares. 30 parents were interviewed; 29 of them had two out of three of those symptoms, and 16 parents exhibited all of them.

Benefits of nitric oxide ?

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have identified biomarkers that identify premature babies at risk for developing potentially deadly complications.

Improving lung function in premature babies with a severe lung disease may be linked to their feeding regimen, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Bacteria could be a possible cause for premature birth

Researchers identify biomarkers of poor outcomes in premature babies

Increase in survival of very small premature babies

Study looking at the IQ levels of late preterm babies 

French Study looking at long term care levels in premature babies

Survival of extremely premature babies in a geographically defined population: prospective cohort study of 1994-9 compared with 2000-5

Premature babies and pain

Teen mothers at a higher risk of prematurity

Disability rates in very preterm babies

Worldwide incidence of premature births

Improving lung ability in premature babies

The above is research into cognitive and behaviour issues with late preterm babies those born between 34-36 weeks seem to be at an increased risk these issues

Research into the effects that premature babies could be faced with in adult life for example cp,retardation and whether adults prems were suffering with disabilities in their adult life.
A study looking at how children who are born premature can have difficulties with school for example maths,reading etc. The study also compare girls to boys

Research from ucd at how fungal infections can be problematic for preterm babies it can come from catheters and feeding tubes..It’s a particular problem in premature babies, but noone knows why,” she says. “And it’s known as an emerging pathogen because it is becoming more and more prevalent.”

A study is being carried out in Galway into predictive testing for premature labour. They hope to identify biomarkers which will help them identify premature birth

Giving the drug avastin which is a cancer drug to infants who are suffering with Rop may be more effective than laser therapy
Click into jan 25th part 2 very good interview about research into prematurity study being done in Galway -

News about the study in Galway



Other parents