U.S. preterm births hit new low - still work to do!

MissyJ's picture

The March of Dimes just released their 2012 Premature Birth Report Card. The U.S. has hit a new 10 year low for preterm births -- a significant improvement now registering at 11.7%! Still, overall, the U.S. scores a "C" as we continue to have a high rate of preterm births comparatively. This is a clear indication of work to be done!

A premature birth is defined as one that occurs at less than 37 weeks gestation. Within the U.S., one in eight babies is born too soon. Premature births even at a few weeks early can increase risks of severe health problems, birth defects, and possible lifelong disabilities. Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns. Economically, there is a potential savings possible of $3 billion in preventing preterm births!

While some causes of premature birth remain unknown, there *are* steps that you can take to lower your risk and give both you and your baby the healthiest start possible! Below are several resource articles that can help you towards that goal:

Baby on the Brain: Your Healthy Body Preconception Checklist

Folic acid critical for early embryonic development

Preventing Premature Births

Pregnancy and Smoking: Need Help Putting Down That Cigarette?

Options for Preventing Preterm Labor

Finally, join with the March of Dimes "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait" campaign! The focus is to urge heath care providers and patients *not* to schedule a delivery until at least 39 weeks gestation -- unless there is a medical reason to do so (such as pre-eclampsia, babe in distress, etc.) Many of your baby's vital organs, including their brain and lungs, are not fully developed until that point!

View our "Holidays Put Pressure on Women to Schedule Early Delivery", (no matter when you are due), to learn more about the dangers of early delivery, red flags, and healthy birth practices to follow giving you BOTH the best start possible!

What steps have you taken to reduce your risk of preterm labor? Preemie moms -- weigh in with your experience and thoughts on this campaign! I'd love to hear from you!