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Hello welcome to help -- I'm Dr.
-- Between 2006.
We have seen a decline in premature deliveries.
In some states the change was more than 10%.
According to the findings of the March of Dimes 2011 premature birth report card.
Premature birth are the leading cause of newborn mortality so this improvement.
Is good news for infants and families across America.
Joined today is doctor Jennifer house president of the March of Dimes to tell us how the organization plans to continue this trend that you -- from media.
Thank you so much.
It is good news it is it is good news you know I you know -- you know I I deliver babies for a living so this is something that I it's very near and dear to me so.
The good news is is good because it seems that numbers are art art sort of declining but yet you still gave the US.
On the report card.
That's absolutely right -- getting -- -- -- that an -- plus well the reason is that the United States started.
-- -- behind.
In in this problem.
So -- failing we were feeling when you're failing very badly so now we're getting a little better than we work.
And you know just like the kid in the classroom -- they're trying really hard and they're doing a little bit better.
You wanna encourage them but you also have to give my dose of reality in the dose of reality for the United States is we're still at C.
Okay and pre -- -- -- what what what are the things that kept kept us in this failing grade prior to this report card.
Well we have Bob a couple of different kinds of problems first of all we've got out a lot of women who just do not get into prenatal care.
Because of their choosing you think because they don't have health insurance okay they don't have health insurance it's a lot but but I I thought that most pregnant women in the US.
If they were not covered by insurance they still can get it temporary Medicaid.
Not true not.
Currently still have eleven million women childbearing agent in the US who don't have any health insurance that's changing it's getting better that's a problem.
Second problem is called.
The number 39.
And that's for 39 weeks of completed pregnancy.
And once you've hit that benchmark in a pregnancy.
Okay -- go ahead and deliver but we have a lot of of -- situations.
Are having you elective.
Induction and elective C section right before 39 weeks right so those babies are being born premature and.
And I have to tell you that I just wanna stop there for a second that 39 week window.
You know I run one of the largest will be hospitals in the country.
We were at a thirty or 40% rate.
Not needing to 39 week induction window now we're down to twelve.
I gotta get to 5% in order to get to -- into your good report -- side.
But it is a challenging because for a lot of women I just don't get this.
There is such an anxiety lately and maybe is the stress of the country and may -- is -- with everything to be.
This in a society that begins to develop in women up to 35 weeks.
And every time they come to the doctor's office they'll say the same thing on what is this -- coming out was -- -- coming -- -- you know obstetricians and you know I and I tell -- you know I'm not listening to you.
They really get course into this little anxiety circle and they end up inducing -- 3839.
Which really is not the right thing to do.
Well -- exactly right and March of Dimes is working very very hard to do better consumer education.
The 39 week program that we -- healthy babies are worth the wait.
We've got T shirts and brochures and buttons and PSAs and and -- also.
Lots of support for.
To help them have the right counseling.
Because really babies as you know they're not ready to be born yet they're -- they're not their lungs aren't fully developed they're not ready book.
It is so let's -- who installed a little bit of basic signs for a second.
Explain to people what are some of the risk factors for pre premature deliveries.
Well some of the risk factors.
Are if you've got -- turning your family so women whose.
Sisters or mothers are -- have had a preterm baby did -- their risk that's something they should be discussing with their doctor.
There's a good new treatment now FDA approved on the market.
For four to help women not have a recurrence of preterm birth and that's something that's notable I think helping to drive the good grade yet in.
But -- risk factors like smoking for instance you're going to be a huge issue with a lot of pregnant women -- -- believe it or not.
On the stress you know we keep thinking I keep saying and I know for a fact scientifically that stress negative stress.
Is a big contributor and you know I wonder how are we gonna deal with the stress issues and -- facing America today when it comes to.
In our unemployment rate I mean many many women come now on -- -- got my husband just lost his job.
I think that we -- we got a couple of tough years ahead when it comes to stress and how to handle that.
Well you know there's some things that that -- women can they can make the decision to do something differently they can handle like smoking they can.
Enroll in a smoking cessation program there's been a little improvement.
Manny over the last couple of years reduce -- reductions in the number of of women who smoke during pregnancy and that that's helping to drive a good number.
I think also.
Weight gain during pregnancy.
There are some choices women can make.
Helped by their doctors -- by their doctors.
Stress you're right it's tough.
We can't control the stresses that come into our -- so.
It if you know -- what do you think then.
I mean things that I have gotten better that we.
You know I knew we got now we got -- seat and you report card so.
What -- that that one of the compilations of things have been happening to get us to reduce some of them premature birth rights.
Better enrollment in prenatal care but not perfect okay we have the progesterone treatment so -- to -- is starting to become available.
We have fewer women smoking okay and we have women at hospitals such as yours starting to really.
Adhere to the 39 week elective induction C section -- That's gonna make a big difference as we continue in that direction -- minority groups like -- is an African American women.
Com do you still think we need more work there.
I think particularly in the African American community where the rates are twice as high rise in any other community in United States.
-- we need to get special attention to.
Reducing a racial and ethnic disparities in in that community.
Okay how can the public get involved.
Well first and foremost join the march of time -- -- -- -- -- Parity here from the president joined the March of Dimes an educated.
About the subject go to the March of Dimes dot com.
And learn about premature birth we have places to on the website you can learn more you can sign up you can.
Give information to the young people in your life who are thinking about getting pregnant have a baby.
Those are just a few of the -- all right well thank you so much for coming to the program this is such an important topic people -- you don't really know.
How many babies and up in the neonatal intensive care units and many of these children of course I'm gonna have a lot of challenges ahead.
But I do -- it again emphasize that if you are pregnant.
Or are you you or if you're thinking of getting pregnant.
Before you go to the doctor go to the March of Dimes because you have a lot of new questions for your health care provider if you go there before.
All right well thank you again thank you.
Any reality health hobbies -- to talk to me about email -- at fox a doctor -- foxnews.com thanks for watching for Fox News on demand.