This health video will focus on ways to prevent preterm birth.
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Jennifer Matthews: Jamie Bowman's first pregnancy was going fine, until she went into labor six weeks early. Jamie Bowman: There was a point where they weren't bringing her to me and it scared me and then they told me they had took her to the ICU because something was wrong. Jennifer Matthews: Cacie had pneumonia and had to spend a week in intensive care. Jamie Bowman: So it was pretty scary. Jennifer Matthews: When Jamie was pregnant with her second daughter, Makenzie, she signed up for a study of a new treatment, weekly injections of progesterone from week 16 to 32. It worked. She carried Makenzie to full term. Jamie Bowman: Big baby. She weighed 10 pounds, 11 and a quarter ounces. Healthy. Got to come home within two days. Jennifer Matthews: Among women in the study, the hormone injections cut the number of preterm births in half. Dr. John Thorp: There has not been a primary prevention treatment for preterm birth that is this effective and actually improves newborn outcome. Jennifer Matthews: Premature babies are often born with underdeveloped brains and lungs and can spend weeks or months in intensive care. Dr. John Thorp: To prevent a preterm birth actually lets those children bypass all of that pain and suffering. Jennifer Matthews: In Jamie's case, an ounce of prevention was worth a 10-pound baby girl. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.