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U.S. Gets a 'D' for Preterm Birth Rates
Date:11/12/2008

In addition to state rankings, the report card also analyzed several factors that contribute to preterm birth -- including smoking and uninsured women of childbearing age -- and prevention measures.

The report calls for:

  • Increased federal support for prematurity-related research to learn more about the causes of premature birth and to develop strategies for prevention, along with improved care and outcomes for preterm infants.
  • Voluntary reviews by hospital leaders of all Caesarean-section births and inductions of labor that occur before 39 weeks' gestation, in an effort to reverse the nation's rising preterm birth rate. The review should ensure that all C-sections and inductions meet established professional guidelines.
  • Policymakers to improve access to health coverage for women of childbearing age and to support smoking-cessation programs as part of maternity care.
  • Businesses to create workplaces that support mother and infant health, such as providing private areas to pump breast milk, access to flextime, and information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.

"Employers can play a key role in helping their employees and dependents have healthy babies and healthy families. The March of Dimes' Premature Birth Report Card provides guidance on best practices that can help any size business," Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, said in the news release.

More information

To view the full report, visit the March of Dimes.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: March of Dimes, news release, Nov. 12, 2008


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3. March of Dimes Announces Prematurity Campaign Expansion at Surgeon Generals Conference on Preterm Birth
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6. Analysis of Millions of U.S. Births Shows Association Between Birth Defects and Preterm Birth
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8. March of Dimes seeks answers to preterm birth
9. March of Dimes Seeks Answers to Preterm Birth
10. Gene linked to preterm birth among Hispanic women
11. Common drug for stopping preterm labor may be harmful for babies
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