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Premature Births In California: Lower Than National Average

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

According to the March of Dimes, ten-and-a-half percent of California babies were born prematurely in 2008 - down slightly from the year before.  The national rate was more than twelve percent.  Barbara Murphy is with the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative.  She says there are also concerns about women who schedule C-sections or induce labor before 39 weeks for non-medical reasons.  Those babies aren't included in the pre-term birth rates, but Murphy says they are at risk:

"They have a greater chance of being admitted to the NICU, a greater chance of having sepsis themselves, a greater chance of having respiratory problems and it could have been completely avoided."

The March of Dimes is teaming up with the California Department of Health on a campaign to encourage women to wait as long as possible to give birth.
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