Good news for Utah babies, state is lower than national average for this infant danger

Posted at 11:28 AM, Nov 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-06 18:45:11-05

There is good news for babies and mothers in Utah.

The number of premature births is on the decline in our state.

Those numbers earned Utah a "B" grade on the report card from the March of Dimes.

Utah's preterm birth rate remained at 10.2 percent in 2013, down from 11.5 percent in 2006.

That's better than the national average which fell to 11.4 percent in 2013.

The report listed some of the contributing factors to Utah's lower rate.

According to the numbers, only 9.3 percent of women smoke and 18.1 percent of women are uninsured.

While Utah is making strides in preventing preterm births, the state is facing some challenges.

The March of Dimes said the biggest hurdle is convincing mothers to wait 39 weeks to deliver a healthy baby.

The problem is many women may not seek prenatal care and don't know if they are at risk.

Officials said the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of preterm births to 9.6 percent by 2020.