Thanks to developments in technology and medical advances in 20th century, many premature babies are now able to survive and grow into healthy children. Premature births occur for a variety of reasons. They are sometimes due to infection, smoking, multiple pregnancies, cervical complications, or life threatening conditions such as pre-eclampsia. Many premature babies are delivered by Caesarean section. In the neonatal unit, ventilators provide asistance with breathing and incubators help to regulate body temperature. Babies can be fed intravenously with a drip or infusion pump. Monitoring equipment attached to the baby enables medical staff to observe changes in heart rate, breathing patterns and glucose levels.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library