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Foam From Cow Lungs Can Be Transformed Into a Lifesaving Treatment for Premature Infants

The foam from cow lungs, known as bovine surfactant, can be used to help premature infants to breathe. Stat News wrote a fascinating feature length article on this treatment and visited the farm in Canada where this substance is harvested. 

Preterm birth, which is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is incredibly common in the U.S, affecting 1 of every 10 infants. When a baby is born too early, organs including the brain, lungs and liver do not have a chance to fully develop and as a result there is an increased risk of long-term neurological and other disabilities and death. Babies born too early often experience breathing problems and a host of other conditions. 

The cause of preterm birth is often said to be unknown, and associated risk factors you may hear from your conventional physician include high blood pressure during pregnancy, infection, extreme stress, carrying more than one baby, prior preterm birth and use of tobacco, alcohol or controlled substances.

However, there are other factors that may play a primary role in preterm birth that are rarely talked about and certainly do not typically get brought up during a typical prenatal care appointment — but they should. 

If you’re a parent-to-be or planning to start a family, there are several simple tips to help support a healthy, full-term pregnancy. The first is to monitor and optimize your vitamin D levels. It is also important to increase your intake of omega-3 fats. It is also worth noting that recent research suggests calcium buildup in the womb may be involved in preterm births as well, particularly those caused by preterm premature rupture of the membranes (i.e., PPROM, or water breaking too early).
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