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Newborn Survival in the US

September 16, 2011

I was saddened to read about the recent World Health Organization study published in PLoS Medicine which revealed that the US ranks 41st out of 193 studied nations in newborn survival—as in number forty-one, not number one. Healthday News (via writes “Newborn babies in countries such as Cuba, Poland and Malaysia now have a better chance of survival than newborns in the United States.” The study cited that preterm delivery, asphyxia and severe infections were main causes and noted that proper care can prevent all three.

There’s something terribly, terribly wrong with this picture. We can and need to do better.

As a perinatal nurse having cared for many moms with high-risk pregnancies, I realize I work with medical professionals who are truly dedicated to providing—and improving—the highest level of maternal, prenatal and postpartum infant care.  But there are so many communities throughout the country who simply don’t have access to critical information or the quality of care they deserve. Thankfully organizations like March of Dimes spread awareness among women and educate care providers on the importance of quality care in preventing preterm birth and risks associated with it. Inspired by so many who are heading such amazing research, fundraising and outreach, our mission at Boston Baby Beginnings is to add to that endeavor—to provide the highest level of parent education, emphasize the importance of prenatal care, and empower parents we work with to spread these messages among their friends, family, and communities.

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