A new report by the Institute of Medicine shows the number of premature births in the United States has skyrocketed, more than twelve percent of all babies born in 2005 were born too soon.
Partly because women over age thirty-five are more likely to deliver early and more women today are waiting until later to get pregnant. The increase in infertility treatments also brings a greater chance of multiple births which often deliver sooner than planned and even though preemies pose a risk to infants and mothers experts say the cost to society is at least twenty-six billion dollars a year.
"It is very expensive. Premature infants require more care. They can have developmental problems, the mothers require additional care and support, and this is a major problem that we're going backwards instead of forwards in fixing," said Holly Thacker, Director of Women's Health Center, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
So now, the March of Dimes is asking us to support the preemie bill, which would allow the surgeon general to host a conference where new priorities will be set for research on premature birth.