Preterm Birth Rate Shows Improvement

The numbers are in, and for the country as a whole they're good.

The percentage of premature births decreased.

"I think it's a case of education, and it's in conjunction with the nationwide March of Dimes campaign Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait. Any baby born 37 weeks or earlier is premature, and it's been a case of educating both the doctors as well as the moms that you need to stick it out and get as close to forty weeks as possible, which is full term," said Registered Nurse, George Miller.

A report from the March of Dimes gives each state a letter grade, and Kentucky didn't do so well it earned a D.

The reason isn't clear, but a March of Dimes official says this actually is a step in the right direction.

"Kentucky has done a lot of work toward this, actually a few years ago, we had the grade of an F. So, we have done some things that are bringing us along on this, and of course toward our goal of 9.6 percent," said Katrina Smith, State Director of Programs, March of Dimes.

Now, the big focus is on education, and the facts about how babies develop.

"Organizations have really done a lot of professional education with our doctors, our midwives, and nurses. Also, we have done education out in the community with the moms," said Smith.

Here locally, if you do have a premature baby, there are groups to help.

"We have the peas group here, which is parents education and support, which is a group of premature parents who then come back and serve as mentors for new parents that have premature children. It's kind of scary when your child is born premature, these parents have been through that experience, so they can help them," said Miller.

It's that help, plus the help of education that March of Dimes officials hope will help decrease the number of premature babies.

Here is a link to the study

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