Kardashian, 32, reportedly started having contractions Friday and went into labor the next day, a full five weeks ahead of schedule, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
A per-term baby is defined as any birth before 37 weeks, according to medical references. Since the normal gestation is 39 weeks, Kim’s baby was born at 34 weeks, which signals possible health problems ahead.
Kim and the baby are reportedly in good health, according to gossip site TMZ.
A key indicator is how soon the baby will be released from the hospital. If Kim had a natural child birth, then she could be released in one to three days. But if they baby is kept after that it’s a likely sign of health problems.
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Premature infants are at greater risk for short- and long-term complications, including disabilities and impediments to growth and mental development. Preterm birth is among the top causes of death in infants worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
The good news is, Kim’s baby falls into the moderate to late preterm range of 32 to less than 37 weeks, which lessens the chances of major health problems.
Possible causes of pre-term birth include infections and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Stress and anxiety in the mother were also cited as a cause for pre-term births in a study published by the American Psychological Association.
But just as often no cause is identified, according to the health organization. Genetic makeup may also influence birth.
Because of her age, Kim is also borderline high risk for pregnancy complications, especially since this is her first child.