This study is being conducted to find out what genes are turned on or off (called "gene expression") in babies born preterm and how that may be related to complications of prematurity or other health conditions they may experience during or after their initial hospitalizations.
- Infants born at 33 0/7 weeks' gestational age or more
- Infants born at another institution
- Infants whose parents are unable to give consent for any reason
We will collect 2.5-5.0 mL (one half teaspoon) of blood from the umbilical cord after the baby has been born and the cord clamped. This blood is normally discarded with the placenta. Please note that collection of the umbilical cord blood will not affect the birth or health of the baby. We will isolate the RNA from the blood and study the baby's gene expression.
The baby's medical records will be reviewed for birth weight, gender, method of delivery (C-section or vaginal), and any medical conditions that occur during the initial hospital stay, for as long as the baby remains at Tufts Medical Center. If the infant is born at <28 weeks' gestation, he/she will have neurodevelopmental follow-up assessments throughout the first three years of life at Tufts Medical Center as part of standard care. This testing assesses the infant's developmental milestones and helps the baby's development at 19 months' corrected age. "Corrected age" means when your infant would be 18 months old if he/she had not been born early. For example, an infant born 2 months premature would have a chronological, or actual, age of 20 months old, but a corrected age of 18 months. Pregnant women end their participation when the baby is born. The baby's participation lasts until discharge from Tufts Medical Center or until end of developmental follow-up testing at 18 months' corrected age at Tufts Medical Center.