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California recognized by March of Dimes for advancements in the health of moms and babies
Date:3/19/2014

re working closely with March of Dimes staff and volunteers on the "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait" educational campaign, which urges hospitals, health care providers, and patients to follow the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines and reduce medically unnecessary elective deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy. The final weeks of pregnancy are crucial to a baby's health because many vital organs, including the brain and lungs, are still developing.

California's success in achieving the March of Dimes goal is noteworthy. Not only is California home to more than half a million births each year, the most of any state, it also has a racially diverse population in a mix of urban, suburban and rural communities that have a variety of healthcare and economic needs. If every state met the challenge, the United States could save $2 billion in health care and socio-economic costs each year, according to March of Dimes.

In 2011, the nation's preterm birth rate dropped to 11.7 percent, the fifth consecutive year it declined -- but still nearly half a million babies were born too soon.

Preterm birth (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy) is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report. It is the leading cause of newborn death; more than a million babies worldwide die each year as a result of their early birth. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others.

The March of Dimes encouraged states to meet its 9.6 goal through a combination of activities: giving all women of childbearing age access to health care coverage, fully implementing proven interventions to reduce the risk of an early birth, providing smoking cessation programs for pregnant women, encouraging preconception and early prenatal care, progesterone treatments f
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Contact: Sheri Lunn
slunn@marchofdimes.com
818-539-2191
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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California recognized by March of Dimes for advancements in the health of moms and babies
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