early births

The rate of babies being born early is going up across the country. There were 8,000 more preterm births in the U.S. last year than the previous year, and Jacksonville’s rate is worse than the country’s.

The March of Dimes has  issued its 2015 report card on early births across the country and Florida gets bad grades for its premature birth rates.

The state earned a C this year for having a premature birth rate of 9.9 percent—just about one in every 10 babies born in Florida. The March of Dimes goal is 8.1 percent.

Study: Early Medicaid Births Questioned

Dec 9, 2014

Nearly 9 percent of the births covered by Medicaid — or about 160,000 each year — were elective deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation, which lead to worse health outcomes for mothers and children and higher costs, according to a study published Monday.

Although the World Health Organization recommends Cesarean rates stay between 10 and 15 percent, last year almost half of all babies born in Miami-Dade County were delivered by C-section.

That’s a 49-percent rate.

Akron Beacon Journal/MCT

Too many Florida doctors and pregnant women are still opting for scheduled early births -- either through elective induction or C-section -- and that’s reflected in the latest data from the Leapfrog Group. That organization encourages changes in the health-care system that improve patient safety and lowers costs.