As you’re probably aware, the infant mortality rate in the black community is 2.3 times that of white babies according to the Office of Minority Health. Researchers, doctors, and even our government cannot determine why black babies are dying at such alarming rates, but there is power in knowing as much as possible about infant mortality and knowing resources that are available to you in order to save your child.
Below are four questions about infant mortality I hope you will answer or either pass along to your readers. Answers are after the jump.
What is preterm birth?
a. Preterm birth is childbirth occurring earlier than 39 completed weeks of pregnancy
b. Preterm birth is childbirth occurring earlier than 40 completed weeks of pregnancy
c. Preterm birth is childbirth occurring earlier than 37 completed weeks of pregnancy
How many babies in the United States are born premature?
a. 1 in 5 babies
b. 1 in 12 babies
c. 1 in 14 babies
Which women are at the greatest risk of preterm birth?
a. Women who have had a previous preterm birth
b. Women who are pregnant with multiple babies
c. Women with a short cervix
d. All of the above
True of False: Can preterm birth can be predicted?
The correct answer is C: Preterm birth is childbirth occurring earlier than 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.
The correct answer is B: 1 in 12 babies are born premature in the United States.
Prematurity is the number one cause of death among newborns in the United States. According to the March of Dimes, prematurity has risen 36 percent since the early 1980s.
Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are defined as premature and can face weeks or even months in the hospital. While most go on to lead healthy lives, many suffer serious lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing problems. Half of all neurological disabilities in children are related to premature birth.
The correct answer is D: All of the above. Researches have determined that these three groups of women are at the greatest risk of preterm labor and birth. Other possible risk factors include: late or no prenatal care, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, certain infections during pregnancy, a history of domestic violence, lack of social support and stress and a history of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, or illicit drug use during pregnancy.
True! There is an FDA-approved, noninvasive test that provides healthcare providers with valuable information regarding a woman’s risk for preterm birth. The presence of fetal fibronectin is the single strongest independent predictor of preterm birth at less than 32 weeks.
Collection for fetal fibronectin testing (similar to a Pap test) can be performed in a healthcare provider’s office or the hospital. The test measures the amount of fetal fibronectin–the glue-like substance that holds the baby in the womb—in the vagina. Between weeks 22 to 35 of a pregnancy, fetal fibronectin should be almost undetectable. A negative test result reveals a less than one percent chance a woman will deliver her baby within the next 14 days; a positive test result is the single, strongest independent predictor of premature birth before 32 weeks. The fFN test enables physicians to improve outcomes by determining who is most appropriate for medical intervention while sparing many women from unnecessary treatment including powerful steroid drugs and hospitalization. To learn more about the fFN test visit www.fullterm.net and to become a fan on of the fFN Test on Facebook visit www.facebook.com/fFNTest.