More About Preterm Babies

Surviving Babies

About 300,000 babies are born alive in Australia each year. Of these, 1% weigh less than 1,500g at birth, and 0.4% weigh less than 1,000g. For context, the average birth weight of a full-term baby is 3,500g.

In the late 1970s, only 25% of babies under 1,000g at birth survived in Victoria. 20 years later, the survival rate had risen to 75% in Victoria.

Care Managers

Most hospitals will assign a care manager for a preterm baby.

The care manager will be a neonatal nurse who has experience in both neonatal intensive care and special care nurseries.
The care manager provides:

  • Support for families while their preterm baby is in the intensive or special care nurseries.
  • Coordination of care for the baby.
  • Discharge planning: assisting with the discharge of the baby from the nursery to either the postnatal ward if they are still an in-patient, or to a hospital closer to home, or home once they have been discharged.
  • Assistance with expressing while the baby remains in the nursery and once the baby is discharged home.

When a preterm baby no longer requires the specialised care of a tertiary level hospital, they may be transferred to another hospital that provides continuing care for babies.

Victorian Infant Collaborative Study

Victorian Infant Collaborative Study