The March Of Dimes Released Its 2011 Preterm Birth Report Card And While The U.S. Isn't Doing Great - It Earned A "C" - The Preterm Birth Rate Is Slightly Lower.

The March of Dimes released its 2011 Preterm Birth Report Card and while the U.S. isn't doing great - it earned a "C" - the preterm birth rate is slightly lower. Keep reading for more details.
The March of Dimes released its 2011 Preterm Birth Report Card and while the U.S. isn't doing great - it earned a "C" - the preterm birth rate is slightly lower. The preterm birth rate was 12.8 percent in 2006 and it now stands at 12.2 percent. The organization noted improvements in the preterm birth rates in almost every state between 2006 and 2009. In fact, some states saw a 10 percent improvement. “The three-year improvement in the U.S. preterm birth rate means that 40,000 more babies were given a healthy start in life and spared the risk of life-long health consequences of an early birth,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “It means that, nationwide, we saved at least $2 billion in health care and socio-economic costs. Now we owe it to the other half a million infants who were born too soon to work together to give them the same chance.” According to the March of Dimes, several factors are responsible for the lower rate, including:
  • Reduction in the number of medically unnecessary C-sections and and scheduled inductions before 39 weeks.
  • New treatments to prevent preterm birth (e.g., progesterone)
To reach the March of Dimes' goal of a 9.6 percent preterm birth rate in 2020, we'll need to see some big changes. March of Dimes notes the following are essential:
  • Ensuring women of childbearing age have access to health care coverage
  • Not smoking during pregnancy
  • Getting preconception and early prenatal care
  • Progesterone treatments for women who are medically eligible
  • Avoiding multiples from fertility treatments
  • Avoiding elective C-sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary
  • Funding new research on prevention of preterm birth.
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