Perinatal Medicine

The perinatal period commences at 20 completed weeks of gestation (pregnancy) and ends 28 completed days after birth. This is the most hazardous time in an infant’s life.

The baby, who has adapted to life inside its mother, must suddenly at birth be able to survive in a completely different environment. For nine months, the fetus has all its needs taken care of by the mother through the placenta: delivery of food and oxygen, removal of waste,  protection from many germs, and warmth within the amniotic fluid of the womb.

At the same time, all its organ systems are preparing for life outside the womb. It must be ready at birth to make an immediate switch-over to its new environment.

Perinatal programs and treatment serve women who are pregnant or parenting young children. The main goal is to support the mother and her child during the recovery process.

See Regional Perinatal Center for more information on Saint Peter’s renowned care of mother’s and infants.

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