The national preterm birth rate fell to 11.4 percent in 2013 – the lowest in 17 years – meeting the federal Healthy People 2020 goal seven years early. Despite this progress, the U.S. still received a “C” on the 7th annual March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card because it fell short of the more-challenging 9.6 percent target set by the March of Dimes, the group said.
A father holds his premature baby skin to skin. Called kangaroo care, this therapy benefits both parent and baby. See the March of Dimes 2014 Premature Birth Report Card at marchofdimes.org.
Credit: March of Dimes
The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign is guided by a Steering Committee of six leadership organizations: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP); the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO); the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN); and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign is supported by corporate partners including Johnson & Johnson and Cigna, and gifts from millions of individual donors. Prematurity Awareness Month is nationally sponsored by First Response and the WellPoint Foundation.