Approximately 6 million pregnancies occur each year in the United States. While most women have a normal term pregnancy and deliver a normal infant, a safe and healthy pregnancy is not experienced by all women. More than a half million babies in the United States—1 of 8—are born premature each year; and about 120,000 babies have birth defects. The parents' age, genetics, medical health, socioeconomic status, behaviors, access to health care, and environmental exposures all affect their ability to conceive, carry, and deliver a healthy full-term baby.
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