Preemie Projects

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Preterm birth is often overlooked in the media in favor of other high profile medical difficulties but there are many researchers investigating ways to reduce the risk of preterm birth and improve outcomes for preemie babies. Find out about some of interesting studies that are being undertaken.


Finding out about Preemie Research

It can be frustrating for parents of preemies who are often not kept in the loop about important discoveries about reducing the risk of preterm birth or medical interventions designed to limit short and long term consequences of being born preterm. This section is designed to inform parents and friends of preemies about some of the research being done around the world to help premature babies.

If you're a researcher interested in sharing your discoveries or what you're currently working on please send us an email at

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The Late Preterm MRI Study (LaPreMs)

Study Details

Group Name:

The Late Preterm MRI Study (LaPreMs)

Group Location:

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute - Melbourne, Victoria. Australia

Current Projects Description:

80% of preterm babies are born from 32-36 weeks’ gestation, and are late preterm (LPT). There has been a rise in the rates of LPT births, largely due to obstetric intervention with caesarean deliveries. LPT children have more learning problems, but why this occurs is unknown. The Late Preterm MRI Study (LaPreMs) commenced in December 2009. The aims of this study are to understand the effect of being born between 32 and 36+6 weeks of pregnancy on the baby’s behaviour and responsiveness, and brain development, compared to term born infants at 37 weeks or greater. The study is looking at the brain characteristics of babies using a technique called magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

Previous Projects:

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute - Melbourne, Victoria. Australia

Benefit to preterm infants and children:

We hope that the results from this study will help guide decisions about semi-elective caesarean delivery, and also help us understand what needs babies born late preterm will need in childhood. So far there are 95 preterm babies and 31 term babies participating in the study. We are delighted and very grateful for the support and enthusiasm of all the families participating in the study.

Findings and Publications:

Study still in progress, results will follow after completion.



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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 

Read More: Defining Preterm birth



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