No argument that reducing smoking in pregnant women is a step forward, and obviously providing health insurance is pretty much a no brainer when it comes to saving lives of mothers & babies.... But what are they doing about the Elective Caesarean section rates? Or more importantly, what are they doing to recognize that the USA has one of the highest C/Section rates in the world? The US spends more money on Maternity care, yet has a horrifyingly high infant and maternal mortality rate that hasn't dropped in 20 years. When is the American OB driven medical machine going to wake up and realize that these problems are not going to go away by driving the Caesarean section rates up, nor are they going to go away until they look at the real problem: THEMSELVES.
Childhood: U.S. Draws Low Marks on Premature Births
More than half a million babies, one out of eight, are born prematurely each year in the United States, prompting the March of Dimes to give the nation a D on its premature births report card.
The report card did not give an A to a single state. Vermont, which has a preterm birth rate of 9 percent, got a B, while 17 states got F’s, including Mississippi, with a preterm birth rate of 18.3 percent. The prematurity rate in Puerto Rico, at 19.4 percent, was the highest in the country.
The nationwide rate has barely budged in the most recent three years reported — to 12.7 percent in 2007, according to preliminary figures, from 12.8 percent in 2006 and 12.7 percent in 2005. It was 11.4 percent in 1997.
Several states did receive stars for taking steps to reduce smoking among women of childbearing age or providing health insurance coverage for pregnant women, which may help reduce preterm birth rates, the report card noted. Multiple births and elective Caesarean sections also push up preterm birth rates, said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.