What may happen if your baby is born this week
This information may be difficult to read. If you have any questions about your pregnancy or risk of premature birth please talk to your doctor or midwife.
You can also call the Tommy’s midwives on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or email us at [email protected].
Sadly, most babies born at this gestation will not survive labour and birth. At 22 weeks, this is known as a late miscarriage.
Approximately 7 in 10 babies die if they are born now, even if they are born alive and receive treatment to try and save their life. Of those who do survive, 1 in 3 babies born at this time will have a severe disability, such as cerebral palsy.
Up to 1 in 4 of children without a severe disability may have a milder disability, such as learning difficulties, behavioural problems or mild cerebral palsy.
Every baby is different and it is important to talk with your doctors and midwife. They will give you specific information about your own and your baby’s condition. The chances of your baby’s survival and long-term health will depend on several things, not just the week they were born. How much your baby weighs, their gender, and how well you and your baby are when you give birth will all have an impact.
Your doctors will talk to you about what your options are and help you make decisions about what’s best for you and your baby.
You and the team may decide that it will be best to provide palliative (or ‘comfort’) care to your baby, either because there is an extremely high risk that your baby will not survive or they are likely to suffer from life-long disability, even with the very best treatment. Palliative care means providing treatments that will make them as comfortable as possible until they pass away.