If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Wisconsin lowered its preterm birth rate, giving more babies a healthy start in life and contributing to the national five-year improving trend.
Wisconsin lowered its preterm birth rate to 10.4 percent, but not enough to change its grade. It again earned a B on the report card.
“We’re proud that our state’s preterm birth rate is improving, thanks to the work of the March of Dimes and our partners. Wisconsin’s progress means that more babies are being born healthy, excess health care costs are being reduced, and families are being spared the heartache of having a baby born too soon,” said Jodi Legge, State Director of the March of Dimes Wisconsin Chapter. “To continue this progress for mothers and babies, the March of Dimes has set a goal to reduce premature birth by at least 8 percent between 2009 and 2014.” and looks forward to working with organizations around the State to join the efforts. Here in Wisconsin the March of Dimes is supporting 7 Stork’s Nest® projects in partnership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and community healthcare providers in Milwaukee, Racine, and Green Bay; CenteringPregnancy® at Aurora Healthcare, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Racine and in Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.; NICU Family Support® Programs at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and Meriter Hospital in Madison; and a statewide Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign to help women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.
Wisconsin is part of a national trend toward improved preterm birth rates, 40 states, including Wisconsin saw improvement in their preterm birth rates between 2010 and 2011. On the 2012 Report Card, 16 states got a better grade. Nationwide, the largest declines in preterm birth occurred among babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, but the improvement was across the board. Nationally, every racial and ethnic group benefitted, and the preterm birth rates for babies born at all stages of pregnancy improved.
Since 2006, Wisconsin’s preterm birth rate has dropped from 11.4 percent to 10.4 percent. In Wisconsin, the rate of late preterm births is 7.5 percent; the rate of women smoking is 24.1 percent, and the rate of uninsured women dropped from 10.1 percent to 11.2 percent.
These factors contribute to improved infant health and rates of preterm birth in Wisconsin. It earned a star on the report card for: Lowering the late preterm birth rate.
These improvements mean not just healthier babies, but also a potential savings in health care and economic costs to society.
The March of Dimes attributed the improved rates to an expansion of successful programs and interventions.
“We will continue to work together to improve access to health care, help women quit smoking and, through our Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait consumer education campaign, encourage women and health care providers to avoid scheduling a delivery before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary,” according to Maureen Kartheiser, State Director of Programs, Advocacy, and Government Affairs.
The United States again received a “C” on the March of Dimes Report Card. Grades are based on comparing each state’s and the nation’s 2011 preliminary preterm birth rates with the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate is 11.7 percent, a decline of more than 8 percent from the peak of 12.8 percent in 2006.
The Report Card information for the U.S. and states will be available online at: marchofdimes.com/reportcard.
Preterm birth, birth before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifetime health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. At least 39 weeks of pregnancy are important to a baby’s health because many important organs, including the brain and lungs, are not completely developed until then.
On November 17th, partners from around the world marked the Second World Prematurity Day in support of the Every Woman Every Child effort led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. An estimated 15 million babies are born preterm and of those more than a million die as a result of their early birth, according to an October 2009 March of Dimes report on the global toll of preterm birth.
Prematurity Awareness events are happening throughout November in Wisconsin, including support and recognition of families of babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units and staff awareness through NICU Family Support® programs. In addition, the following are a sample of Prematurity Awareness Initiatives held in Wisconsin:
• From November 1st through 30th, you can see Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee shining in purple light to symbolize hope for a healthy start for more babies.
• On November 15th, the March of Dimes Madison Division held a Signature’s Chef’s Auction at Monona Terrace with hundreds of families and friends of premature babies to raise awareness and to raise funds for ongoing research, education, and advocacy for the March of Dimes in Wisconsin.
• On November 16th at Hillside Terrace in Milwaukee, the March of Dimes joined colleagues and community leaders to announce the importance of women’s health initiatives across the State and to recognize the critical importance of reducing preterm birth in order to make a positive impact on ethnic and racial disparities in infant mortality.
• On November 17th, World Prematurity Awareness Day, St. Mark AME Church, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., March of Dimes, and a number of community organizations hosted the 3rd community event this month on “Breaking the Cycle: Protecting our Legacy” which served as a community Call to Action in Milwaukee to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.