High Premature Birth Rates In Kentucky

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

One in seven babies are born premature in Kentucky and the trend is going up. Statistics released Wednesday by the March of Dimes gives the entire nation a D grade. The group's report card gives kentucky an F.

Experts say obesity, lack of health insurance and mothers who smoke during pregnancy are major reasons why Kentucky ranks 46th in the nation for premature births.

"My reaction was not a surprise because I knew there was a lot of second hand smoking and first hand smoking among pregnant women and the rate of uninsured women is pretty high across the board," said Dr. Rene Santin.

Dr. Santin says each year in the U.S., 500,000 babies are born too soon.

"I think that recognizing the fact that we are not doing to good as a nation in preterm births is the first step," added Dr. Santin.

But in some cases, premature births are necessary. Like when it comes to Jennifer Coots and her twin daughters, Carlie and Erin. The girls were born six weeks early because of health risks. That also meant a longer hospital stay.

"That was pretty hard. We was only allowed to see them on our care times and they were in there for two weeks, so mommy cried for two weeks," said Coots.

Those lengthy, but required hospital stays make health care costs skyrocket. The March of Dimes hopes the report brings change.

"We want to help get the medical costs down, it costs three times as much for a premature birth as it does for a normal birth," said Michelle Wesley.

The March of Dimes will release the report card every November through 2010.

November is March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Month.

You can find out more about the March of Dimes on our web channel just click on the links and numbers tab in our on demand section.


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  • by Jennifer Coots on Feb 13, 2009 at 11:09 AM
    My daughter were born early because of Preclampsia. Not because of drugs or smoking. I was a high risk pregnancy also because they were twins! So don't be too quick to judge! If you have questions feel free to email me!And by the way I dont get a check for anyone to take I worked for a living and now choose to stay home with my babies!
  • by William Location: seky on Nov 16, 2008 at 09:45 PM
    Smoking Mothers and smoking households is so sad but Kentucky and Tobaco companies dont care as long as they sale sigarits Tobaco companies should pay hospital bills for sigarit related disease let the Doctors sue Kentuckys best sigarit makers winston palmail smoking is a drug that kills where is UNITE? on this drug that kills millions a year and causes heart disease and cancer Haaa ?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 13, 2008 at 07:38 AM
    Congradulations Jen.. Your babies are beautiful. I know you'll be a great mom. :)
  • by Lillian on Nov 13, 2008 at 04:52 AM
    These mothers need to be drug tested and their check cut off.
  • by Jennifer on Nov 13, 2008 at 04:43 AM
    cigarettes and drugs will do it everytime.
  • by melinda Location: mount sterling on Nov 12, 2008 at 07:31 PM
    my daughter was born 6 weeks early due to health risks for her. that was the scariest moment of my life. she is turning 5 yrs old and is healthy.. i support programs like this...
  • by kilburn Location: guantonimo on Nov 12, 2008 at 06:52 PM
    Ky is the #2 user of medicine and #1 state for smoking, go figure why babies are born too early.

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