World Prematurity Day
According to the March of Dimes, the leading cause of death in children under the age of five is premature birth. Today, they spread awareness of pre-term births with World Prematurity Day.
For babies in Mississippi, premature birth is on the rise. The pre-term birth rate increased in the 2016 March of Dimes Premature Report Card and the state again received an ‘F’ grade with a 13 percent pre-term birth rate.
Babies born too early may have more health issues than babies born on time and may face long-term health problems that affect the brain, the lungs, hearing or vision.
Today, News 25 spoke with a local doctor who says adequate access to healthcare is of utmost importance to decrease the risk of a pre-term birth. Dr. Gregory Culpepper said, “As far as the simplest thing, I would think just making sure that if there are medical issues and as far as mother is concerned those are adequately addressed. If there is any concern based on things that occur during the pregnancy, that’s where the OBGYN will step in and if we need to give steroids early on in the pregnancy to boost the fetal lung maturity along so you don’t have those respiratory issues and things like that. I think those are really the biggest things, just make sure you have good adequate prenatal care.”
For more information on premature birth, visit marchofdimes.org.