Louisiana receives poor grade for premature births - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Louisiana receives poor grade for premature births

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Louisiana fails when it comes to having healthy newborn babies, says the March of Dimes when it comes to babies who are premature.

Louisiana got the F grade because 15.6 percent of babies born last year were born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

There are three causes of premature birth, one of which may be surprising.

It's by choice - mother and doctor convenience, or wanting to avoid the last uncomfortable week or so of pregnancy.

"The brain is developing up until 38, 39 weeks and we find that babies  who are born before 39 weeks have a higher incidence of all kinds of complications including immature lungs, where they end up in the intensive care unit in the nursery on a respirator. Perhaps their ability to swallow to feed is maybe a little be delayed," said Dr. John Hevron.

The other two causes are smoking during pregnancy and expectant mothers without health insurance failing to get regular prenatal doctor care.

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