News Headlines Article

Fewer Babies Are Born Prematurely, But Many Still Suffer
National Public Radio

The number of babies born too early dropped to 11.4 percent of all births in 2013, the best number in 17 years. But that’s still more than 450,000 children being born too early. Those babies face in increased risk of death, and those who survive are more likely to have problems including intellectual disability, vision or hearing loss, cerebral palsy and breathing trouble.

One reason for the success is that women, doctors and hospitals are getting the message about the benefits of waiting until labor begins, rather than choose to deliver a few weeks early.

“After 37 weeks there was a little bit of a cavalier attitude, that the baby was OK and it was OK to deliver,” says Dr. Siobhan Dolan, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the March of Dimes. The nonprofit released its premature births report card Thursday, based on CDC data.