Preventing Premature Births

Preventing Premature Births

Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait

Mother and newborn

It’s best to wait until at least 39 weeks and to let labor begin on its own.

Sometimes mothers, mothers-to-be, and even doctors think it is safe have a baby early. But did you know that a baby's brain nearly doubles in weight in the last few weeks of pregnancy?

The health department has joined the March of Dimes and the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign to educate moms and moms-to-be, that if your pregnancy is healthy, it’s best to wait until at least 39 weeks and to let labor begin on its own.

  • Questions to ask your health care provider

  • Don't rush your baby's birthday

Here are some reasons why babies are worth the wait:

  • A full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Studies have shown that more than half of women think it’s safe to deliver between 34 and 36 weeks, even though babies benefit from time to develop.
  • Important organs like the brain, lungs and liver are still developing up until the end of pregnancy.
  • A baby born just a few weeks early may have vision and hearing problems, have trouble staying warm and feeding.

Facts about premature births from the March of Dimes:

  • One in 10 babies is born premature in Minnesota.
  • Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants.
  • The premature birth rate in Minnesota dropped to 9.9 percent in 2011. That is down from a high of 10.7 in 2005.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health has accepted a joint challenge from the March of Dimes and Association of Territories and State Health Officials (ASTHO) to reduce premature births by 8 percent by 2014. This will spare 550 babies the risks of an early birth.

Remember this time

CineMama AppThe CineMama app from March of Dimes helps moms to make a photo diary and create a pregnancy video like the one shown below.Apple App Store iconCineMama app screenshot


Updated 1/10/2013