Maternal and child health is at risk in Alabama as healthcare deserts deteriorate

13.1% of babies born in Alabama are preterm, which means they are born before 37 weeks of gestation.  This often leads to health risks that could have been avoided.

Alabama’s maternal and child health again ranks among the worst in the United States, according to new annual research from the March of Dimes.

The nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of mothers and children in the United States published it 2022 report card This month, Alabama awarded a failing score for its preterm birth rate. Last year, 13.1% of babies born in the state were premature, that is, before 37 weeks of gestation.

That’s the highest rate Alabama has seen since the March of Dimes started its record in 2011, and it’s only lower than Louisiana, at 13.5%, and Mississippi, at 15.0%.

Premature babies can have problems with vision, learning abilities, hearing, and other aspects of development.

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