Florida maintained a “D” grade in the 2012 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, released this week during Prematurity Awareness Month. The premature birth rate declined to a preliminary rate of 13 percent in 2011, but was still higher than the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent.
While the rate of uninsured women in the state increased, there was improvement in late pre-term births. The rate declined from 9.6 percent to 9.1 percent. Rising rates of early induction of labor and C-sections have been linked to increases in the rates of late-preterm births (34-36 weeks).
In Northeast Florida, the preterm and late preterm birth rates exceed those of the state.
The March of Dimes publishes grades yearly, comparing each state’s rate of preterm birth to the March of Dimes. Prematurity is a leading cause of newborn death and can lead to lifelong complications. Read the full report card here.