Dr. Barbara Huggins


November 16, 2006

Prematurity -  November 16, 2006Every day 1 in 8 babies born in the U.S. arrives too soon. Premature birth can happen to any pregnant woman, and no one knows why. It is a serious, common and costly problem. The March of Dimes is leading the campaign to reduce premature birth by supporting research and by educating the public and health care providers.

Premature birth is a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks. In 2004, there were over 500,000 premature births in the United States or about 12.5% of all live births. It is the leading cause of newborn deaths and the rate has increased over 30% since 1981.

Risk Factors for Preterm birth
  • It is impossible to predict your chances of giving birth prematurely. You may be at increased risk if you:
Preventing Preterm birth
  • The exact causes of preterm labor are not known. However, some things you can do to have a healthy pregnancy are:
Warning Signs of Preterm Labor
  • Call your doctor or nurse right away if you notice any of these symptoms:
Complications for babies born prematurely:
Helpful websites:

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.