Preterm

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE -

The Savannah, Valdosta and Dublin ar­eas have im­ple­mented ev­i­dence­based home visi­ta­tion pro­grams to pro­vide ad­di­tional support to high-risk moth­ers, and other com­mu­ni­ties, such as Al­bany, At­lanta, Athens and Au­gusta, have im­ple­mented the Cen­ter­ing Preg­nancy model to pro­vide health as­sess­ments, ed­u­ca­tion and group support for women.

“We will con­tinue to work to­gether to im­prove ac­cess to health care, help women quit smoking and, through our Healthy Ba­bies Are Worth the Wait con­sumer ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign, en­cour­age women and health care providers to avoid sched­ul­ing a de­liv­ery be­fore 39 weeks of preg­nancy un­less med­i­cally nec­es­sary,” said Sheila Ryan, State Di­rec­tor of the March of Dimes, Ge­or­gia Chap­ter.

Grades are based on com­par­ing each state’s and the na­tion’s 2013 pre­lim­i­nary preterm birth rates with the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 per­cent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate is 11.4 per­cent, a de­cline of 11 per­cent from the peak of 12.8 per­cent in 2006.

The Re­port Card in­for­ma­tion for the U.S. and states will be avail­able on­line at: mar­chofdimes.org/re­port­card.

Pre­ma­ture birth, birth be­fore 37 weeks of preg­nancy, is a se­ri­ous health prob­lem that costs the United States more than $26 bil­lion an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute of Medicine. It is the lead­ing cause of new­born death, and ba­bies who sur­vive an early birth of­ten face the risk of lifetime health chal­lenges, such as breath­ing prob­lems, cere­bral palsy, in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties and oth­ers.

Even ba­bies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and ill­ness than full-term in­fants.

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