Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Program Aims to Cut Down on Preterm Births

Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death. Babies who survive an early birth face an increased risk of life-long health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, or learning disabilities. Texas’ preterm birth rate is 13.1 percent compared with the national rate of 12.2. The March of Dimes launched a new program in Houston today to addresses the issue — Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait. The program combines early prenatal care, community education and hospital-based quality improvement programs to eliminate unnecessary C-sections and inductions before a full 39 weeks of pregnancy. It was successfully piloted for three years in Kentucky as a partnership among the March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

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