How common are premature births in Louisiana and Mississippi?

There are several birth-related things that states vary in considerably. One is how common preterm births are. Premature birth report cards issued by the March of Dimes indicate that Louisiana and Mississippi have some of the highest premature birth rates in the country.

In the report cards, each state was given a letter grade, A through F, for preterm births. What grade a state was given depended on what its premature birth rate was, with higher rates leading to worse grades. For the report cards, premature birth was defined as a birth that occurred with fewer than 37 weeks of gestation, and a state’s premature birth rate was determined based on National Center for Health Statistics data covering the year 2014.

Mississippi and Louisiana were both given the worst grade possible in the report cards, an F. F grades were given to any state with a preterm birth rate of 11.5 percent or higher. According to the report cards, in 2014, Louisiana had a premature birth rate of 12.3 percent and Mississippi had a premature birth rate of 12.9 percent.

Why do you think Mississippi and Louisiana have such high premature birth rates? What do you think could help change this?

Preterm births can have many risks connected to them. Thus, the care needs for premature birth deliveries can be different than those for regular deliveries. Consequently, one would hope that all doctors involved in delivery-related care in Mississippi and Louisiana would make sure to provide the right type of care when performing deliveries involving premature births. Failure by a doctor to provide proper care during a premature birth could significantly up the risk of birth injuries or other harms occurring. How good of a job do you think doctors in Mississippi and Louisiana do when it comes to care related to premature births?

Sources: March of Dimes, “2015 Premature Birth Report Card– Louisiana,” Accessed Nov. 19, 2015

March of Dimes, ““2015 Premature Birth Report Card – Mississippi,” Accessed Nov. 19, 2015