Born Too Soon - Premature Babies in Texas

November 15, 2013

One in nine babies in the U.S. are born prematurely, defined as born prior to 37 weeks gestation. Premature birth can lead to a number of developmental complications immediately following delivery and later in life for the child, but advances in medicine are producing better outcomes in recent years. Organizations like March of Dimes, health care providers and increased public awareness are making strides towards reducing the number of premature births in the U.S., however, the fact remains we rank worst among industrialized nations – receiving a “C” with an 11.5 percent preterm birth rate. Texas falls just above that national average at 12.8 percent.

March of Dimes reports that Texas has reduced the number of late preterm births, down from 9.5 percent to 9.2 percent, according to recent data. This reduction is likely the result of an effort to reduce the number of early inductions and cesarean sections between 34 and 36 weeks gestation.

The Pledge

Texas has pledged to reduce the preterm birth rate to under the national average at 8 percent by 2014. In addition to reducing the number of scheduled inductions and cesarean sections prior to 39 weeks, creating more awareness of the dangers of smoking during pregnancy can greatly contribute to reaching that goal. The latest rate available of women who smoked during their pregnancy in Texas is 16 percent. When we reach the 8 percent goal, Texas will be among the states with an “A” grade, including Oregon and California.

World Prematurity Day

March of Dimes is working to bring more awareness of worldwide preterm birth rates across the globe through World Prematurity Day Nov. 17, 2013. They have created this video to highlight the need for more awareness to help save 15 million babies from being born too soon.

BSA joins the March of Dimes in support of World Prematurity Day. Show your support on our Facebook page and help spread the word.