premature birth

Adrian Clark | Flickr / Flickr

Officials from Washington University, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes announced Monday they will launch a new March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

Sherry Payne

A Missouri registered nurse who had to abandon plans to walk across the state to raise awareness of black infant mortality rates made her final stop in St. Louis Friday.

Sherry Payne, who is the director of the perinatal health organization Uzazi Village based in Kansas City, gave a presentation at St. Louis University on ways to improve birth outcomes for black babies.

Elizabethe Holland Durando, Washington University School of Medicine

A team of researchers at Washington University has found that babies born prematurely have very different gut microbes than those of babies carried to term.

All children are born with almost no microbes in their intestines. Their gut microbial communities develop quickly in the weeks after birth ― although the communities don't reach full maturity until children are 2 or 3 years old.

But little is known about how this microbial development occurs.

(via Flickr/Joshua Smith)

When Reggie Rideout's daughter Maya was born seven years ago, she weighed just 1 lb. 15 oz.

"I was aiming for a St. Patrick's baby and ended up with a Christmas baby," said Rideout. Her daughter was born at 27 weeks. “I was just so unprepared. And I’m a planner....All of a sudden, not only are you not pregnant anymore, but your baby is very sick.”

Despite Maya's tough start, she is doing well now. "She's a first-grader. She's healthy and intelligent. You would never look at her and know she was born actually a little over three months early," said Rideout.