The Rights of Premature Babies

Premature babies are usually fragile, delicate, and immature at the congenital level. Therefore, it's important to pay lots of attention to how they're growing and developing.
The Rights of Premature Babies

Last update: 08 February, 2019

When newborns arrive into the world earlier than expected, they usually need a lot more care than other babies. In fact, they have certain legal protections that we should be aware of. We’ll discuss the rights of premature babies below.

Every child at birth has organs ready to function in the real world. Although their structure and forms aren’t identical to those of adults, they have their own characteristics.

To ensure their proper development at this delicate stage, premature babies need special care, which you shouldn’t overlook.

The Rights of Premature Babies

Clinical data of normal babies vs. premature babies

Although newborns have similar characteristics, certain parameters allow doctors to identify when a baby is premature. Among them are:


Normal babies are normally between 6 and 8 pounds. Premature babies are usually less than 6 pounds. This also influences their body proportion.

Duration of pregnancy

Normal pregnancies without complications should last between 37 and 42 weeks. Premature babies are born before 36 weeks or earlier.


The Rights of Premature Babies

Generally, this has to do with the conditions during pregnancy, the mother’s health, and other factors that parents can control.

Male babies born after 37 weeks are between 18 and 21 inches. Baby girls are between 18 and 21 inches as well. Premature babies will be shorter than that, by half an inch or more.

Body temperature

All premature babies tend to have a lower body temperature because they can’t regulate it. However, babies born full-term tend to start recovering after 2 days. On the other hand, premature babies need artificial heat to stabilize their own temperature.

What are the rights of premature babies?

The characteristics of babies clearly show that they aren’t just miniature adults, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Only specialists and OB/GYN‘s are the ones that determine whether or not to classify a baby as premature or not.

If a baby is born with these characteristics, the specialist should tell the parents the rights their premature baby has. Then, they’ll be able to intervene if they fail to go through with the special treatment.

Some rights of premature babies include:

  • Immature and weak newborn babies must be in the hospital for their condition. They need help for all of their issues.
  • Pregnant women must attend check-ups periodically to fully guarantee the rights of their premature baby.
  • Premature newborns have the right to receive quality care from highly qualified medical staff to meet their specific needs.
  • Premature babies have the right to prevention of congenital diseases. For example, newborn blindness.
  • The family of premature newborns is entitled to be fully informed of the baby’s state of health.
  • Being able to breastfeed is one of the most important rights for premature babies. Breastfeeding will promote better development. It also helps prevent lots of diseases.

Premature babies have very specific characteristics that make them weaker than other normal newborn babies.

Therefore, these newborns need quality medical and family care to help overcome obstacles so they can grow up healthy and without problems.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Camacaro, D. (2002). Puericultura. 2nd ed. Caracas – Venezuela: Editorial Natura S.R.L – Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, p.125.
  • González-Merlo, J. (2018). “Parto pretérmino”. En J. González-Merlo, J. M. Laílla-Vicens, E. Fabre-González, y E. González-Bosquet, Obstetricia. Madrid: Elsevier.
  • Winkvist, A.; Mogren, I., and Hogberg, U. (1998). “Familial patterns in birth characteristics: impact on individual and population risks”, Int J Epidemiol, 27: 248-254.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.