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Sooner Rather Than Later: Physical Therapy and Premature Babies

Nov 5, 2019


Our kids are a source of deep pride and joy. Watching them come into the world with any difficulty can be stressful and upsetting. Premature babies need extra support so they can be prepared to take on the world ahead. At our office, we can’t stress enough how important it is to seek assistance as soon as possible. Your kiddo deserves to be at their best.

Born Too Early

A premature baby is a child born before having spent 37 weeks in mom’s tummy. When a kiddo arrives earlier than expected, they have less time to develop and mature, unlike a full-term baby. That extra time in mom’s womb is pivotal because they can spend those moments flexing their muscles and using those muscles to resist the tightening space (the little one is growing!).


The Big Concern

Early arrivers are at a disadvantage. They have lower muscle tone, lower grey matter volume in the brain, and less neural connections made than a full-term child. As a result, their overall development is affected such as with gross and fine motor skills, brain development, and social development.

Since muscles are weaker, premature babies will find it harder to reach essential milestones such as rolling over and sitting up. Conditions like cerebral palsy and torticollis have a higher chance of occurring as well. The good news is that resources are available that can greatly improve the life they will lead.

The key is to see a physical therapist as soon as possible. Allowing a professional to monitor progress gives peace of mind that your premature baby is developing optimally. Your child will also have an easier time adapting to meet milestones. Utilize all resources available too. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to care for your premature baby.


Physical Therapy and Beyond for Premature Babies

            Physical therapy is a necessary component for your baby’s healthy growth. The therapist will improve the skills and limitations that have occurred due to premature birth. Seeking help can also prevent problems before they start or become worse. It is easier to treat a baby in this stage because they can so easily absorb information and learn new tasks at this critical age.

Enhanced mobility and range of motion lasts a lifetime and results from physical therapy. Tight muscles will loosen. Mobility will be much easier to master. Your premature baby will also be prepared to support their bodies with their strong muscles. Learning better ways to move the body is the vital role of a physical therapist, so you will always benefit your baby by seeking therapy.


While sooner rather than later is best, it is never too late to ask for help with concerns. That’s what we’re here for.

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