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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reducing Prematurity, Should You Move?


Preterm pregnancy (or prematurity) remains the leading cause of neonatal death and long-term neurologic disabilities according to a January 2014 article in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The preterm birth rate is lower, but not as low as our national goals said the annual March of Dimes Premature BirthReport Card released in November of 2013.The most serious preterm cases are those called Early Preterm birth, or before 32 weeks of pregnancy which is normal when it is 40 weeks long.  Still about 500,000 premature infants are born in the us, for a staggering $26 billion dollar price tag for their care per year. Babies have about 11% chance of being born prematurely, and we want that under 1/10. In my home state of Illinois, the rate has remained stuck around 12%. California, New York, and Oregon are among states who have reached that goal of under 1/10 babies born premature. the far southern states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are reporting the highest rates of prematurity. In an original research article by Markam et al of The Ohio State University has noted that the use of newer more aggressive strategies to use progesterone vaginally, has reduced their prematurity rate. If you have had a prior premature baby, and are pregnant or planning pregnancy, see your gyno to discuss what strategies you can use to help prevent prematurity.

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