premature babies

The rate of premature birth across the United States rose for the third year in a row, according to the annual premature birth report card from March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that works to improve maternal and infant health. This comes after nearly a decade of decline from 2007 to 2015.

In 2017, the premature birth rate was 9.93 percent of births, up slightly from 2016, when it was 9.85 percent. The report card draws from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

When Melisa Martinez's son, Juelz, was born very prematurely at 25 weeks back in January, doctors at University of California, Davis Children's Hospital gave him probiotics. "They told me the probiotics may help reduce the risk of infection," Martinez says. Now, Juelz is home and doing well.

The rate of babies being born early is going up across the country. There were 8,000 more preterm births in the U.S. last year than the previous year, and Jacksonville’s rate is worse than the country’s.


Scientists have created an "artificial womb" in the hopes of someday using the device to save babies born extremely prematurely.

So far the device has only been tested on fetal lambs. A study published Tuesday involving eight animals found the device appears effective at enabling very premature fetuses to develop normally for about a month.

Hands the size of quarters and weighing only 1 pound, a baby born about three months early aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean is expected to live.

A Utah couple, Chase and Emily Morgan, were on a seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise with their 3-year-old daughter earlier this month. What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation to celebrate their daughter's birthday quickly turned into a nightmare when Morgan went into early labor on the family's second night aboard.

Morgan's due date wasn't until Dec. 19, but her son Haiden had other plans.

George Skene / Orlando Sentinel

The state’s second human-milk depot is now open at Florida Hospital in Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel reports. There are 11 such depots across the country where nursing mothers can also donate breast milk. Florida’s only other location is in Miami.