More babies are being born with organs outside their bodies, and experts have no idea why

By Sarah Kaplan

When Brooke gave birth, she wasn’t able to hold her newborn daughter against her, feel the baby’s tiny chest rise and fall as it issued its first, tremendous wail.

Instead, she got only a brief glimpse of her child, Anna, before the little girl was whisked away into surgery.

What she saw was disquieting: Her infant daughter’s intestines protruded outside her body, dark and slick and alien-looking. It would take a nerve-wracking operation and weeks in the intensive care unit until her internal organs were back were they belonged and baby Anna could finally come home, Brooke wrote for the CDC (the post does not give her last name).

Anna was born with gastroschisis, a rare birth defect that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said has become worryingly more common in recent years, particularly for young African American mothers.

In a report published Friday, the public health agency said that it found 30 percent more cases of the disease between 2006 and 2012 than it did from 1995 to 2005. Among African American mothers who were younger than 20, the number of babies born with the disease jumped 263 percent.

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