Oklahoma City Among The Worst In Preterm Birth Rate

Monday, November 29th 2021, 7:05 am

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and a new report shows Oklahoma needs to make major improvements in premature births. 

Oklahoma City is ranked among the top ten in premature birthrate, with 13.3% of babies born in the city being born prematurely. 

The state did see a slight improvement overall in the report. 

The state’s grade was upgraded from an F to a D-. Premature birthrates fell from 11.5% to 11.2%. 

Laurie Applekamp with March of Dimes Oklahoma said that some women in rural areas don’t have access to prenatal care they need. 

"If the moms are not getting those checks on a regular basis there could be certain things that happen during the pregnancy that go undiagnosed, so it is really important that moms are getting that care," said Applekamp 

Another issue women face, lack of education on the importance of prenatal care. 

"Mom's need to know that it is important that you do these prenatal checks so that you can be able to spot any issues that are going to be arising. To know those signs of what preterm both are," Applekamp said. 

Black Oklahoma women are especially affected by preterm births. The rate among Black women is 39% higher than the rate among all women. 

March of Dimes Oklahoma is working with partners to put a program called 'Supportive Pregnancy Care'. 

March of Dimes has also introduced a new app called ‘MYNICU Baby App.’ The app answers questions moms may have while their child is in the NICU.