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What is a premature baby

A premature baby is one that is born before 37 weeks. A baby that is born prematurely before the full 40 week gestation period is at higher risk of short and long term complications. Physiotherapy can help to minimise the risk of these complications and assist your baby’s development so they are able to lead a normal active life in the future.

Causes of a premature baby

Often, the cause of having a baby prematurely is unknown. Some causes may include pre-eclampsia, illness in the mother, stress, antenatal haemorrhage and vaginal infection.

Mobility exercises using a wheeled walking frame under supervision of a paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Mobility exercises using a wheeled walking frame under supervision of a paediatric physiotherapist

Symptoms a premature baby may experience

When a baby is born before 37 weeks, there may be medical problems that arise that affect the various organs and systems. Your baby may have neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal or hematologic problems. Physiotherapy can help to minimise your baby’s physical problems and improve overall quality of life.

Physiotherapy for your premature baby

Your specialist physiotherapist will carry out a detailed assessment on your baby in order to determine areas of muscle weakness, neurological signs and the rate of development. Your baby’s areas of difficulty will be discussed and a treatment plan will be formulated. Therapy sessions will be focused on the individual baby and will be specific to meet the needs of your child. A general physiotherapy treatment plan for a premature baby may include: Your physiotherapist will teach you a range of stretching and strengthening exercises to complete with your baby on a regular basis. This will ensure your baby maintains full range of movement at each joint and has sufficient muscle strength to learn to roll and sit up. Your physiotherapist will also provide training and education regarding positioning aids, equipment, aids and specialist seating. Training can be delivered to the main carers of your baby, relatives or friends.

Physiotherapy has proven clinical benefits for your baby. These include:
  • Increased strength of arms, legs and trunk muscles
  • Increased range of movement at the joints
  • Increased ability to sit, crawl or stand
  • Increased ability to interact with others during play
  • Improved posture and body segment alignment during rest and play
  • Prevention of secondary complications
Your baby’s rate of improvement will be monitored and re-evaluated regularly using objective outcome measures which describe improvements in functional ability and muscle strength. As your baby grows and develops, your physiotherapist will adapt treatment so that it is fun and challenging for your toddler.

Why choose for your premature baby

At, we understand parent’s worries and concerns for their premature baby. Our specialist physiotherapists are able to deliver a high standard of evidence based treatment in the clinic or home environment. Regular physiotherapy sessions will increase your baby’s rate of development, minimise secondary complications and improve the standard of life.
  • No waiting lists
  • Treatment in your home environment or in the clinic
  • Treatment when you and your baby are ready
  • Caring, experienced physiotherapists
  • Learn how to help maximise your baby’s functional ability through specific handling and positioning techniques
  • Supply of individual home exercise program
  • Provision of aids and equipment
  • Access to speech and language therapy
  • Access to occupational therapy
  • Access to hydrotherapy
To book an appointment or have a free telephone consultation with a specialist physiotherapist about the needs of your premature baby, please contact us now on 0330 088 7800, or book online today!

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