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World Prematurity Day recognized in November, premature birth more common than you may think

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:37 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Every November, health care leaders everywhere take a moment to show compassion and support to families experiencing the anxiety associated with premature births.

A premature baby is any baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy,

Rapides Regional Physician Lian Chen said, overall, the risk for premature birth is about 12% in the United States. However, in some parts of the country, including here in Louisiana, that percentage can go up due to chronic health conditions and other problems such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Chen said the biggest factor for pre-term birth in women is having a history of pre-term births. That’s why she said being aware of your own health conditions and getting prenatal care is crucial.

“I would say I probably see a couple of patients a week that might end up having a premature baby. But I think being aware of those risk factors and seeking prenatal care early on and working to address those things can definitely help,” said Dr. Chen.

World Prematurity Day is recognized on November 17 every year.

Rapides Regional is a level three NICU, meaning physicians can take care of any baby born in the hospital and take transfers as well.

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