Number of Premature Babies Drops

Number of Premature Babies Drops

Number of Premature Babies Drops

A federal health survey from the National Vital Statistics Report shows that the amount of babies being born prematurely has gone down considerably. There were 23,500 less premature births in 2008 than there were in 2007. The Births Final Data from the Report showed that 2007 had a record high number of preterm births, 546,602, before the 37th week of pregnancy. This decreased to 523,033 in 2008.

Contained in the federal report is detailed information on American births, including data on infant and maternal health issues.  This is the first report that has included information on what percentage of newly born babies are in the area of early term.

These infants are not preterm but they are also not full term, having been born during the 37th or 38th pregnancy week. Babies born at 39 to 41 weeks are considered full term. During 2008 about 54 percent of babies were full term deliveries and around 28 percent were in the category of early term.

Premature birth is a serious and costly health problem in the United States. The Institute of Medicine estimates that it costs Americans in the region of $26 billion each year. Infants who manage to survive a premature birth often have a lifetime of health challenges to face such as mental disabilities, breathing problems, cerebral palsy and many more.

Being born even a few weeks before full term can lead to an infant having higher rates of health problems and hospitalization than those babies born full term.


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