Omaha Public Radio News
3:34 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

March of Dimes Releases Nebraska's 2010 Report Card on Prematurity

Omaha, NE – The March of Dimes Nebraska Chapter released its third annual Premature Birth Report Card last month.

Mary Larsen, Director of Program Services, says Nebraska earned a 'D'. She says the good news is that the rate of premature births in Nebraska dropped to 11.8 percent this year from 11.9 last year. Larsen says another good piece of news is that fewer women of child bearing age were smokers. She says one of the most important ways to give babies a healthy start in life is for moms to think about and plan their pregnancies. Larsen says that can be very critical and at that point and time, women should address issues related to quitting smoking, reducing weight and cutting out alcohol. Larsen says, "all those things can impact a baby. And of course, getting proper prenatal care is really important."

Larsen says premature births cost the United States $26 billion annually.