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birth at 32 weeks
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birth at 32 weeks

My grandson was born two days ago at only 33 weeks.  He was 4.8lb and 18in I believe he is going to be in NICU for a few weeks, but what should we expect?  What are they looking for to be able to release him?  
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Babies that are born at 33 weeks of gestational age are generally expected to do well and have good outcomes.  The detailed criteria for discharge home may vary a little from hospital to hospital, but are centered around "developmental maturity".  Your grandson must be able to do 3 things that a healthy full term infant can do:

1) Breath on his own: no apnea of prematurity.  "Apnea" means "no breath", and results from immaturity of the brain center that controls breathing.  As a premature infant develops, the brain center that controls breathing also develops and they stop having apnea.
2) Eating on his own: either breastfeeding or bottle feeding (or a combination) all feeds, no tube feeding.
3) Maintaining a normal body temperature in an open crib with appropriate baby clothes and blankets.

Most premature babies achieve these 3 developmental milestones somewhere between 35 - 40 weeks of corrected gestational age.  For your grandson, this would be between 2 - 7 weeks after birth.
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