Utah’s premature birth rate report concerning to parents, doctors

Posted at 11:00 AM, Nov 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-05 19:09:58-05

SALT LAKE CITY - For the first time ever, Salt Lake City knows exactly where it stands when it comes to premature births and the findings aren't what parents and doctors want to see.

Salt Lake City earned a 9.6 percent which is a "C" grade, according to the March of Dimes annual report.

The state of Utah earned a 9.1 percent scored a "B" grade on the report card.

That is because Provo scored much better with a 7.7 percent, an "A" grade, bringing up the state's average.

The U.S. as a whole also got a 9.6 percent, a "C" grade, the same as Salt Lake City.

Nationwide, premature birth rates are declining but the numbers are still high.

Utah premature birth rate graphic

Officials it is a huge expense across the U.S., costing about $26.2 billion per year on pre-term baby care.

The March of Dimes is working to educate parents about how to prevent giving birth too early.

Pregnancy experts recommend:

  • See your doctor before you become pregnant
  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Space out pregnancies with at least 18 months between births

The March of Dimes said its goal is to drop the premature birth rate nationwide to 8.1 percent by 2020.

The organization said raising awareness is the main way it hopes to reduce the number.