In November, the March of Dimes lauded a seven-year improving trend in Texas’ preterm birth rate, which contributed to an improvement in the national rate. Texas’ preterm birth rate was 12.3 percent in 2013, down from 13.7 in 2006, the year the national rate peaked.
“We’re proud of Texas’ long-term improvement,” said Nancy Sheppard, chair of the March of Dimes Program Services – Austin Division. “Their success is a testament to the hard work of the Texas state and local health departments, our hospital partners and health care providers. It shows that when a health problem, as complex as preterm birth, is challenged with strong policies and bold leadership, babies benefit.”
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,” said Sheppard.
For March of Dimes information by state and for the U.S., visit marchofdimes.org/reportcard.