Early Births Pose New Health Risks for Newborns

The number of women giving birth too early, often on purpose and for no valid medical reason, has increased greatly over the past twenty years. Experts say that this has altered the way people bear children and created new health risks.

In the U.S., the average time a fetus spends in the womb has decreased by seven days since 1992. A shorter pregnancy can affect a baby's lung development, vision, and weight. Such babies also often sleep longer than normal, and have trouble learning how to breast-feed.

According to SF Gate:

"California Watch reported in September that women are significantly more likely to experience C-sections at for-profit hospitals across the state. In February, California Watch reported that the number of women who die each year from causes directly related to childbirth had more than doubled in California since 1996."

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