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Large head relative to rest of the body
Little fat under the skin
Thin, shiny, pink skin
Veins visible beneath the skin
Few creases on soles of feet
Soft ears, with little cartilage
Underdeveloped breast tissue
Boys: Small scrotum with few folds; testes may be undescended Undescended Testes and Retractile Testes Undescended testes (cryptorchidism) are testes that remain in the abdomen or the groin instead of descending into the scrotum. Retractile testes (hypermobile testes) have descended into the... read more in very preterm newborns
Girls: Labia majora (large lips) not yet covering labia minora (small lips) of the genitals
Rapid breathing with brief pauses (periodic breathing), apnea Apnea of Prematurity Apnea (not breathing) of prematurity is a pause in breathing that lasts for 20 seconds or more in an infant born before 37 weeks of gestation who is not known to have any underlying disorder... read more spells (pauses lasting 20 seconds or longer), or both
Weak, poorly coordinated sucking and swallowing reflexes
Reduced physical activity and muscle tone (a preterm newborn tends not to draw up the arms and legs when at rest as does a full-term newborn)