Document Type : Research Article
Objective: To compare the neonatal morbidity rates in early term versus full term born neonates.
Study design: This was a prospective study of 220 deliveries from 37 0/7 to 40 6/7 weeks of gestation from September 2020 to September 2022. After excluding anomalies, twin gestation, malpresentation, and stillbirth in parturating women in the study. Labour was monitored and newborns were assessed at birth. Neonatal morbidities of babies compared for each week of delivery.
Results: Neonatal morbidity, in the early term babies when compared with full term babies was 24.5% and 6.3% respectively. Neonatal intensive care unit admission and respiratory morbidity were lowest at or beyond 39 weeks of gestation when compared with the early term babies. Statistically significant differences in morbidity were noted between 37 and 39 weeks of gestation. Respiratory morbidity was higher at 37 than 39 weeks regardless of the route of delivery.
Conclusion: This was a prospective comparative study between early and full-term babies. We observed that the neonatal outcome was poorer in the early term group in terms of birth weight, neonatal morbidity, NICU admission rate, and respiratory distress with a statistically significant difference in comparison to full term babies.