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Premature Labor

Overview :

The usual length of a human pregnancy is 38-42 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period. Labor is a natural series of events that indicate that the birth process is starting. Premature labor is defined as contractions that occur after 20 weeks and before 37 weeks during the term of pregnancy. The baby is more likely to survive and be healthy if it remains in the uterus for the full term of the pregnancy. It is estimated that around 10% of births in the United States occur during the premature period. Premature birth is the greatest cause of newborn illness and death. In the United States, prematurity has a greater impact on African-Americans.

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