Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Dad Can Do

Preterm labor is labor that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. (Most pregnancies last 38-42 weeks; your partner's due date is 40 weeks after the first day of her last menstrual period.) Preterm labor can happen to any woman: In nearly half of all cases, we don't know why a woman delivers prematurely. About 12 percent of births (1 in 8) in the United States are preterm. Babies who are born preterm are at higher risk of needing hospitalization, dying, and having long-term health problems than babies born at the right time. Health problems include cerebral palsy, mental retardation, blindness and chronic lung problems.

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