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Smart Woman: Premature Babies

Researchers say a non-invasive test could help predict if pregnant women will deliver premature babies.
London mother Emily Boughen treasures every moment with her three year old son Finlay.

She nearly lost him when he was born three months early, weighing just two pounds. She didn't even know that you could deliver so early.

A SIMPLE URINE TEST FROM PREGNANT WOMEN COULD REVEAL WHETHER A BABY WILL BE BORN PREMATURELY.

Researchers say this test will be given in the first trimester and could help reveal whether a baby will be born prematurely or even have poor growth. Hector Keun, a lead researcher talks about the test, saying "It shows metabolism, even at an early stage of pregnancy, is having an effect on actual birth."

Scientists analyzed samples from more than 400 pregnant women and found those with specific molecules were at a higher risk.

Hector Keun believes that, "it is not one single underlying cause but each individual woman is reacting differently to lots of different things in their environment, their diet, and their lifestyle."

Researchers say more study is needed, but it will be worth it. Over the past decade, premature births have increased by more than 19% in developing nations. More than 42% of those pre-term births were in the US.

Finlay spent three months in the hospital suffering a heart defect and a brain hemorrhage. Emily Boughen is positive, though, for other mothers in her situation. She says, "If this new test has the potential to save one baby's life or prevent one baby from spending 3 months in an incubator, like my baby did, then it's really worth investing in."

After a rough start to his life - Finlay's mom is grateful he's healthy.


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