Wisconsin is doing better in preventing premature births. Doctor Jennifer Howse, President of the March of Dimes, says premature births continue to be a problem. “The babies who are born too soon are at risk of neonatal death,” says Howse. “Prematurity is a major cause of childhood disability, and there is $26 billion dollars of costs associated with caring for these pre-term babies.”
Wisconsin actually improved its letter grade from the March of Dimes, up from a D last year, to a C. But the nation overall still rates a D. “The two regions in the world with the highest rates of pre-term birth are Africa and North America,” Howse says. “Our standing is not good in the world, and we really need to address this problem as a nation.”
Wisconsin was able to do better by getting more women insured, decreasing smoking by expectant mothers, and decreasing so called “late pre-term births” between 34 and 36 weeks. Vermont had the highest grade in the nation, a B, while fifteen other states and Puerto Rico received an F.