U.S. pre-term birth rate at 10%

The U.S. pre-term birth rate of 10% is the highest in comparison to other developed nations. Clinicians estimate roughly half of these pre-term births are preventable, caused by social, economic and environmental factors, as well as inadequate access to prenatal health care. Risk factors also include having diabetes and being obese, stress and dehydration. Memorial Hospital in Miramar, Fla., employs a maternal-fetal medicine specialist to meet with high-risk pregnant patients who are referred from obstetricians. The specialist tries to address any social, economic and environmental factors the mothers-to-be are experiencing. The Southern Birth Justice Network, which advocates for midwifery and doula care in South Florida, develops plans, including breathing, meditation, stretching and walking for pregnant patients experiencing high stress levels. (Kaiser Health News article, 3/16/23)