Infants born prior to the 37th week of pregnancy are considered preterm, which occurs in 9.6% of all births worldwide, according to the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO). A report by The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development confirms that preterm birth occurs in 12% of all pregnancies in the U.S. In addition to increased mortality risk, prior studies have shown that up to 10% of very preterm infants (22-32 weeks gestation) have cerebral palsy, nearly 40% display mild motor deficiency, and up to 60% experience cognitive impairments, social difficulties and emotional issues.
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Preterm infants exposed to stressors in neonatal intensive care unit display reduced brain size, study finds