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March of Dimes Gives Kentucky 'F' in Premature Births

The March of Dimes has released its annual report card on premature birth. The entire country scored a ‘D’, and Kentucky scored even worse.Kentucky has been given an ‘F’ for the last two years, mostly because its high smoking rate, especially among pregnant women.But March of Dimes Director of Program Services for Kentucky Katrina Thompson says they’re seeing an increase in inductions and Cesarean births in the 34-to-36 week range of gestation.“We have a lot of women who ask for inductions, you know, they’re in that last month, they’re tired of being pregnant, their back hurts, that sort of thing, so they’re asking for the baby to be born," says Thompson.They’ve also seen an increase in doctors who are willing to induce birth before labor starts.“This is a two-prong educational effort that we have is to really work with the OB’s and help them to help women understand why they really need to go that full 40 weeks," says Thompson, "and also to educate women so that they’re not asking to be delivered before that 40 weeks.”Thompson says even with ultrasound and other technology, it’s still difficult for doctors to pinpoint when a pregnancy began, and therefore can’t completely accurately predict when a baby has been developing for 40 full weeks.