Because premature babies can be very ill, especially extremely premature
infants, decisions about treatments can be difficult for parents, doctors,
and nurses. Medical research studies provide information about treatments
and the likely course of an illness, but they cannot predict how each baby
will recover from being born too early. Preventing premature birth is important.
Regular prenatal (before birth) medical care, avoiding any exposure to tobacco
smoke, avoiding alcohol and illegal substances, and control of chronic medical
problems are all ways that women can help maintain a healthy pregnancy to
the full term.