More than 4,000 New Zealand babies are born prematurely every year. These infants can spend up to 3 months in neonatal intensive care during a critical period of brain development. As a result, many experience a range of health and developmental challenges that can impact their schooling and emotional wellbeing from infancy to adulthood.

Professor Lianne Woodward of the University of Canterbury explains how an early start to life impacts children’s development and how we can better support the needs of children born prematurely both in hospital and as they grow.

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