November is National Preemie Awareness month, a month dedicated to raising awareness for the leading cause of newborn death.
Baby Tj was born premature at 28 weeks to Kristi and Tyler Dever. He weighed in at only 1 pound 10 ounces. Tj has called the NICU center at St. Vincent Healthcare home for the past two months, where his mom and dad have been able to watch him grow.
Most often, babies born premature have many health risks, but Tj's mom says he is doing quite well. Health professionals say premature births can present lifetime health issues.
"Pre term babies are at risk for complications related to their development later on," says Allison Rentz, M.D., NICU Medical Director.
"Honestly, being a preemie mom is pretty, it's a pretty wild experience to come into the NICU. You don't know what it's about until you live it. It's just a good time to recognize these little miracle babies," says Kristi Hansen, Tj's mother.
According to March of Dimes, 28 babies on average are born premature each week in Montana.