We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
This grassroots news message contains good news! According to March of Dimes analysis of 2008 birth data, the United States rate of premature births, or babies born before 37 weeks gestation, has declined for the second year in a row. This two-year decline comes after a 30-year increase in the rate of premature births. In 2006, the rate was 12.8% and in 2008, the rate fell to 12.3%.
Below is a link to a report from USA today that offers a more detailed description of the decline. We also include the link to the March of Dimes news source that not only notes the decline in premature births for 2008, but also includes an update on the state of births in 2010 as well as information on efforts to further decrease the number of babies born prematurely in the US. As you'll see in both articles, the decline is largely attributed to policy changes that prevent cesarean sections and labor inductions before 39 weeks gestation.
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/parenting-family/babies/2010-11-18-premature18_ST_N.htm
March of Dimes: http://www.marchofdimes.com/nov17_2010.html
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Stephanie Hucker for Citizens for Midwifery
40 minutes ago