According the the March of Dimes' most recent report card, the United States scored a "C" on premature birth rates. For the first time in eight years, the percentage of premature births in the United States increased, and what's most alarming is the widening difference in prematurity rates for different races and ethnicities. The March of Dimes reports: "Across the country, preterm birth rates were nearly 48 percent higher among black women and more than 15 percent higher among American Indian/Alaska Native women compared to white women."
This problem is critical to address because premature birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States. If you are a parent who is pregnant, take time to learn more about your state's rate of premature birth, as well as the many ways you can prevent premature birth for your baby. The following factors can significantly impact your risk for premature birth:
- obtaining adequate prenatal care
- pregnancy health
- pre-pregnancy health
If you are a someone who wants to know how to advocate for preventing premature birth, you can join millions who will be raising their voice next week on World Prematurity Day, Tuesday, November 16. You can also provide more active support through volunteering, advocacy, donating, and hosting a local event.