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premature birth

Hajime White (right) with her daughter Gwen and Gwen's daughter, Quen, at the family compound in Warren, Ark. Gwen had her first baby, a son, at 16, and, defying the odds for teen moms, went on to finish high school and earn a degree in pharmacy tech. "She never stopped because she had the support of me, her dad and her sisters," Hajime says. Sarah Varney/ KHN hide caption

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Sarah Varney/ KHN

Why childbirth is so dangerous for many young teens

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Kristi Alcayaga's teenage son, Michael, was able to try a cancer drug called clofarabine that got an accelerated approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But the medicine didn't help him. Jovelle Tamayo for NPR hide caption

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Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

Drugmakers are slow to prove medicines that got a fast track to market really work

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Sugar and Greg Bull play with their twins, Redford and Scarlett, who were born prematurely in 2020. Their insurance company initially said the births were not an emergency, and the family ended up with bills totaling more than $80,000. Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

An $80,000 surprise bill points to a loophole in a new law to protect patients

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Baby Dorian Bennett arrived two months early and needed neonatal intensive care. Despite having insurance, mom Bisi Bennett and her husband faced a bill of more than $550,000 and were offered an installment payment plan of $45,843 per month for 12 months. Zack Wittman for Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Zack Wittman for Kaiser Health News

Pollution is a global problem. Above: Stockton Street in the Chinatown district of San Francisco on Sept. 9, a time when air quality was affected by wind and wildfires. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A large study published in late October found that weekly injections of Makena during the latter months of pregnancy "did not decrease recurrent preterm births." Jill Lehmann Photography/Getty Images hide caption

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Jill Lehmann Photography/Getty Images

Controversy Kicks Up Over A Drug Meant To Prevent Premature Birth

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Reporter Jenny Gold and her husband, Alex Gourse, with their newborn son at Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago two days after his birth. Courtesy of Bella Baby Photography hide caption

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Courtesy of Bella Baby Photography

I Went Through My Pregnancy With Strangers. It Was The Best Decision I Could've Made

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Their research is still in early stages, but Kristin Myers (left), a mechanical engineer, and Dr. Joy Vink, an OB-GYN, both at Columbia University, have already learned that cervical tissue is a more complicated mix of material than doctors ever realized. Adrienne Grunwald for NPR hide caption

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Adrienne Grunwald for NPR

Scientific Duo Gets Back To Basics To Make Childbirth Safer

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Babies of moms who are in the ICU with severe flu have a greater chance of being born premature and underweight. Nenov/Getty Images hide caption

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Nenov/Getty Images

Severe Flu Raises Risk Of Birth Problems For Pregnant Women, Babies

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For older mothers, it can feel like there's little time to waste before trying for another child. But there are real risks linked to getting pregnant again too soon. Lauren Bates/Getty Images hide caption

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Lauren Bates/Getty Images

Stress, poverty and lack of health care can lead to premature birth. Rates remain stubbornly high in many states. inakiantonana/Getty Images hide caption

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inakiantonana/Getty Images

Scientists are in the early stages of developing new tests that could predict accurately if a woman is at risk of delivering her baby early. Steve Debenport/Getty Images hide caption

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Steve Debenport/Getty Images

Samantha Pierce of Cleveland has a 7-year-old daughter, Camryn. In 2009, Pierce gave premature birth to twins. The babies did not survive. Scientists say black women lead more stressful lives, which makes them more likely to give birth prematurely and puts their babies at risk of dying. Dustin Franz for NPR hide caption

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Dustin Franz for NPR

How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants

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Deona Scott and her son Phoenix at her graduation from Charleston Southern University in South Carolina in 2015. Scott now works full time for Nurse-Family Partnership, a program she credits with helping to prepare her to be a good mother. Courtesy of Deona Scott hide caption

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Courtesy of Deona Scott

An illustration of a fetal lamb inside the "artificial womb" device, which mimics the conditions inside a pregnant animal. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia hide caption

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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Scientists Create Artificial Womb That Could Help Prematurely Born Babies

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Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death in the U.S. and also can cause lifelong disabilities. Anthony Saffery/Getty Images hide caption

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Anthony Saffery/Getty Images

Kate Teague, a registered nurse at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, in Palo Alto, Calif., holds a premature baby's hand. Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

In Caring For Sickest Babies, Doctors Now Tap Parents For Tough Calls

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Omar looks through Kai's photo book. The charges for the infant's six months of care in the neonatal intensive care unit totaled about $11 million, according to the family, though their insurer very likely negotiated a lower rate. Heidi de Marco/KHN hide caption

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Heidi de Marco/KHN

An Ill Newborn, A Loving Family And A Litany Of Wrenching Choices

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In this Sept. 11 photo provided by Emily Morgan, Chase Morgan holds his son Haiden's hand at the Miami Children's Hospital. Emily Morgan, who unexpectedly gave birth on a cruise ship months before her due date, says she wrapped towels around her boy and, with the help of medical staff, managed to keep him alive until the ship reached port. Emily Morgan/AP hide caption

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Emily Morgan/AP

Researcher John Clements in the early 1980s, after he figured out that lungs need surfactants to breathe. David Powers/Courtesy of UCSF hide caption

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David Powers/Courtesy of UCSF

How A Scientist's Slick Discovery Helped Save Preemies' Lives

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