Tuesday, November 5, 2013

PAM FOD #4 - Percentage of Preterm Births in U.S.

Photo from itsapreemiething.com. Used with permission.
A premature birth is any baby born before 37 weeks gestational age (or 35 weeks past conception).

A full term birth is any baby born between 37 and 41 or 42 weeks gestation, with your due date falling at 40 weeks.

The dangers of infant death, disability, etc. are much higher for preterm babies. Just follow this blog, you'll see. We talked about surfactant yesterday, and throughout the rest of this month we'll cover other issues that plague the preterm baby.

Which brings us to today's...

Prematurity Awareness Month
Fact of the Day
Day 4

Q: What percentage of babies are born prematurely in the U.S.?
A: According to the March of Dimes, numbers in 2012 (when JAM was born) were better than previous years. A mere 11.5 % of pregnancies ended in preterm birth.  This is down from the worst year for the U.S., 2006, when 12.8% of babies were born prematurely.

Before we get excited, this isn't all that great. As stated above, premature birth causes all sorts of problems, and we have the worst track record for preterm births of any industrialized country. Still, at least we are going the right direction.

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