In an effort to lower the number of premature births in the U.S., the March of Dimes is gearing up for its “March for Babies” during April and May, in which 900 communities, including 25 in South Carolina, will raise funds for the prevention of early birth and for the care of premature babies.
South Carolina is one of 14 states that scored an “F” when the March of Dimes 2010 Premature Birth Report was released in November. The state’s pre-term birthrate is 14.3 percent. March of Dimes Board Vice Chair Carol Evans says research has increased in an effort to reduce the rates of children born too soon.
Births that occur before 37 completed weeks of gestation are “pre-term.” A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Evans says more than half a million babies are born premature each year in the U.S.
Evans says because pre-term births remains a serious national problem, the March of Dimes will continue its work to reduce the number of premature births in the U.S. and to support those parents who are caring for these infants. Evans likes the level of citizen support in South Carolina: