Premature baby, 1998.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
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.