Monday, July 27, 2009

12.7% Prematurity: Are You Serious?

Thanks to flickr user Scott & Justine fromWyo for this image CC BY 2.0

According to this week's Time magazine, 12.7% of live births in the United States are now premature. That's one in eight babies!

And of course preterm (before 37 weeks gestation) birth puts the preemie at risk for all kinds of complications their first year, and ultimately death.

Overall, the statistics say we're lagging behind the rest of the developed world in infant mortality (that's how many babies die in their first year of life). And why? No one seems to know, exactly.

But my real question is, can midwives help? Many of these women are high-risk before they even become pregnant, but simple, low-risk interventions like social and nutritional support are actually some of the most effective, it seems.

Can midwives make the difference in preventing preterm birth? How?

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