Monday, November 16, 2009

Global "Burden" of Preemies (I Call it Tragedy) But No Mention of - Don't Delay

A new March of Dimes study found that over one million babies worldwide die each year because they are born too soon, according to the first report to estimate the "global burden" of premature births.

Liz Szabo in USA Today states: “The preterm birth rate in the USA is especially high: 12.7% of all babies are born early, according to the March of Dimes. That rate has increased 36% in the past 25 years, partly because of an increase in elective cesarean section, an increase in older mothers and the growing use of assisted reproduction, which increases the risk of twins, triplets and higher-order multiple births, the report says.”

She added, “Doctors can do far more to save preemies than they could only a generation ago but they still have no reliable way to prevent preterm birth. At best, doctors can delay delivery by a day or two — just long enough to give women drugs to mature their babies' lungs.”

Discussion in Szabo's article only addresses medical solutions. Was I off-base when I suggested that parents should tell their adult children not to delay starting a family? In a May 2008 post, I suggested that these trends are sequential: delayed marriage, delayed child birth, infertility, increased multiple births, and increased number of pre-term births. I believe that we need more than a drug-related medical solution to this mammoth global tragedy.

Care to discuss?