The March of Dimes revealed this week that the number of newborns born prematurely had reached its highest level in 15 years, putting a rising number of infants at risk for physical and intellectual problems.
As per NBC News, the latest data from the non-profit group reveals that more than one in ten babies born in the United States last year were delivered at least three weeks before full term: 40 weeks of gestation. This is a 4% increase over 2020.
Dr. Zsakeba Henderson, deputy chief medical and health officer for the March of Dimes, which began evaluating states for infant and mother health in 2007, stated, “This is the highest preterm birth rate we have ever documented.” People of color and those living in impoverished areas are at the highest risk for preterm birth.
Henderson stated that the number of preterm births among African-American and American Indian mothers continued to rise last year. The disparity between those with and without disabilities continued to increase in the most recent report. The survey indicated that women of color were 60% more likely to give birth prematurely than other women.
Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are at increased risk for a variety of chronic health conditions, including asthma, blindness, deafness, and intellectual disability.
Preterm births are graded as a D+ in the nation’s yearly report. With a preterm birth rate of 13.1%, Alabama is among the bottom states. This state, along with eight others in the Southeast, received poor marks.
Martha Wingate, director of the Alabama Perinatal Quality Collaborative at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, stated, “We are failing mothers and infants.” “Regardless of who you are, if you are pregnant and give birth in Alabama, you and your child are at a higher risk of death, period.”
She ascribed the dreadful condition for moms and infants in Alabama in part to inequalities in the state’s general health. The state has some of the nation’s highest rates of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.