Do you know someone that had a baby born too soon?
Prematurity is the leading killer of America's newborns. Those who survive often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.
Prematurity has been escalating steadily and alarmingly over the past two decades. In 2004, more than 500,000 infants were born prematurely, the highest number ever reported for the U.S. In 2005, the United States as a society paid at least $26.2 billion in economic costs associated with preterm birth (medical and educational expenses, loss in productivity).
Preterm delivery can happen to any pregnant woman. In about four out of every 10 cases, the causes are unknown. It is important to learn the signs of preterm labor.
The March of Dimes has taken on this devastating problem—to find out what causes it and how it can be stopped.