Local Premature Birth Rates

March of Dimes Released Their Annual Report Card

AMARILLO - The preterm birth rate is increasing, not just across the country, but right here in Amarillo.

For the second year in a row, the March of Dimes reports premature birth rates are increasing.

"For many, many years we had seen great progress and we had seen the prematurity birth rates drop. Unfortunately these last two years we are seeing them tick back up," said Slater Elza, the March of Dimes Board Committee President in Amarillo.

Texas received a D on this year's March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card with a 10.4% preterm birth rate.

March of Dimes says Potter County sits at 10.7% and Randall County is at 9.5%.

Our local March of Dimes office is trying to work to better those numbers through education.

"One of the things that March of Dimes likes to focus us on is developing best practices for moms and potential moms. There are several things that we know work, very much, one of those is prenatal care. One of the things we have been focusing on is group prenatal care to allow moms to be in a support group as they move toward giving birth," said Elza.

He got involved with March of Dimes because of his son's premature birth.

"He was born 10 weeks early, and through some of the different medications and research that were developed in coordination through March of Dimes we were able to actually able to delay his birth four weeks and those four weeks were vital," added Elza.

He knows how the March of Dimes can make a difference and is hoping others will reach out for education and help as well.

March of Dimes is currently working to create a support group for parents who may have had a baby born prematurely.


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