National Premature Birth Awareness Month

Health advocates say a problem that has been on the decline in recent years, now only affects one out of every nine babies instead of one out of eight . That problem: preterm or “premature” birth.

Premature birth is the birth of an infant prior to 39 weeks.

Kelly Lemon-Samborski is the State Director for March of Dimes.

She said despite our country’s preterm birth rate decline in recent years, our rate still remains higher than that of most developed nations.

“It is still a significant problem, globally if you look around the world we as the United States rank 131st out of 180 countries in our prematurity rates.”

Lemon-Samborski said there are some ways women can help lower the risk of a premature birth.

She said, “Learn about where you need to be health wise before your pregnancy and during your pregnancy it’s so important that you have a physician, you have prenatal care, you use prenatal vitamins. You eat healthy, do not smoke, do not drink and folic acids are very important.”

Lemon-Samborski said through raising awareness, education and funding research premature birth can be eradicated.

March of Dimes: Prematurity Campaign