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March Of Dimes Gives Pennsylvania, New Jersey ‘B’ Grades For Premature Births

(credit: Fred Dufour//Getty Images)

(credit: Fred Dufour//Getty Images)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - November is Prematurity Awareness Month and the March of Dimes issued their report card grading the United States on the number of pre-term births. How did the Delaware Valley rate in comparison to the rest of the country?

The report shows premature births in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest rate in 15 years. Pennsylvania and New Jersey received “B” grades. Thomas Jefferson University Perinatologist Dr. Jason Baxter attributes this drop to advances in medical science.

Dr. Jason Baxter

Dr. Jason Baxter

“We are recommending that all of our pregnant patients have a trans vaginal cervical length ultrasound about mid-point in pregnancy to help predict their risk for pre-term birth,” he said. “And now we have good interventions to help decrease the risk.”

Dr. Baxter says science is at the point where physicians can be more proactive rather than reactive.

“I live in New Jersey, practice in Pennsylvania. Both states got B’s and that is better than our national C rating. We still have some way to go. There are six states that got A’s. I’m confident we’ll continue to see this improvement.”

Dr. Baxter says the key is good prenatal care.