At 30 weeks pregnant, you might have the next 10 weeks of your calendar prepped with lunch dates, nursery decorating, and prenatal classes before the big B-Day arrives. But your baby might have other ideas!
Preterm babies — that’s babies born before becoming full term at 39 weeks — made up only 10% of births in the U.S. in 2019, so it’s pretty rare.
But the idea of having a preemie can be daunting.
Thankfully, modern medicine practices are progressing all the time to provide better care for premature babies, so even the tiniest of preemies can get the best chance of living long and healthy lives.
As with all baby-related info, there is a huge range of “normal” outcomes.
Remember that you and your baby are unique, and use this as a guide to the types of things you might face if your baby decides to arrive early.
So, what complications might we need to consider, and what’s the 30 weeks survival rate?
We’re here to give you the round-up on babies born at 30 weeks.
In this article 📝
- What does a baby born at 30 weeks look like?
- What happens if a baby is born at 30 weeks?
- Do babies born at 30 weeks need NICU?
- Will a baby born at 30 weeks be OK?
- Can babies born at 30 weeks breathe on their own?
What does a baby born at 30 weeks look like?
If you search for “baby born at 30 weeks pictures”, you won’t see the typical chubby-cheeked newborn we all expect at birth.
Instead, a baby born at 30 weeks won’t have much fat stored beneath their skin, so their skin might look translucent, and they will be very, very delicate.
They will be much smaller than a baby born at 40 weeks, though their head may be disproportionately large compared to their body.
The average weight of a baby born at 30 weeks is around 3 pounds, and they may only be about 15.5 inches long.
What happens if a baby is born at 30 weeks?
A baby born at 30 weeks gestation is classed as “very preterm” in the medical world and is likely to need immediate medical attention after birth.
All of their limbs and external body parts will be formed, so any complications they may have will be due to their internal systems being underdeveloped.
They will probably require help breathing, feeding, fighting off infections, and staying warm.
Do babies born at 30 weeks need NICU?
The exact care they require will be individual, but they’ll spend at least a few weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) while they grow and get stronger.
It’s common for a baby born at 30 weeks to be discharged from the hospital just before or around their original due date once they’ve met certain health and developmental milestones, as determined by your doctor.
Will a baby born at 30 weeks be OK?
A recent American study records the baby born at 30 weeks survival rate to be as high as 98.5%, so the chances are very good that your little one born at 30 weeks will be OK.
Though their survival rate is excellent, they may have a higher chance of having some developmental delays later down the track, or issues with things like vision or hearing, than babies born closer to their due date.
Can babies born at 30 weeks breathe on their own?
In some cases, they can.
But respiratory problems are one of the biggest concerns for doctors of premature babies.
If your baby is struggling to breathe by themselves, they will get the help of a ventilator, which can look scary, but is just what they need to get started in the big wide world.
Are babies’ lungs developed at 30 weeks?
At around 26 weeks gestation, the lower lungs develop and little air sacs called alveoli will form, but they are not fully formed until around week 36.
So, at 30 weeks the lungs may not be big or strong enough to breathe by themselves.
It’s also common for babies born at 30 weeks to be fed by a tube and have various IV lines to give them fluids and medications to fight off infections.
Your baby born at 30 weeks might be tiny and fragile, and your start to mama-hood might not be the way you planned, but the chances are excellent that your baby will be just fine.
You got this.
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