New Jersey is not making much improvement in its rate of premature births, with an estimated 11.7 percent in 2011, according to the March of Dimes, the nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing birth defects, infant mortality, and premature births.
The state was given a “C” on the organization’s recent Premature Birth Report Card, for not moving closer to its goal of 9.6 percent premature births by 2020. In 2006, New Jersey’s rate was 12.9 percent and it steadily dropped until this year, when it went from 11.6 percent to 11.7 percent.
The state was also criticized for having a rise in the rate of uninsured women, from 18.5 percent to 20.5 percent.
There was some good news in the report, however; the rate of late preterm births has dropped from 8.2 percent to 7.9 percent. Late preterm births are typically related to early induction of labor and C-sections, which health officials say are often conducted for convenience rather than the health needs of mother and child.