Prematurity Awareness Month

Carson City, NV - October 25, 2018


The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) announces the launch of Prematurity Awareness Month on November 1, 2018.  According to the March of Dimes, premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and its complications are the number one cause of death among babies in the United States  ( 

Approximately one in ten babies are born too soon in the United States, which is among the highest rate for high-resource countries.  Babies who are born too early may have more health problems or may need to stay in the hospital longer than full-term babies.  Premature babies often face long-term health problems, including cerebral palsy, lung disease, hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.  Additionally, African American women experience disparities with higher rates of prematurity.


One of the best things a woman can do for a healthy pregnancy is to see a doctor, early and often.  The Statewide Maternal and Child Health Coalition and Nevada DPBH are helping new mothers by reminding all pregnant women to Go Before You Show.  This nationwide campaign encourages women to see their doctor within the first three (3) months of pregnancy.  Simple steps early on in pregnancy can help make all the difference to mother and baby.  If you need help finding a doctor, contact 2-1-1 for assistance.


Many factors put women at risk for premature birth.  If a woman uses alcohol, drugs, or smokes during pregnancy, she is more likely to give birth to a premature baby.  Other risk factors for delivering a baby too early include high blood pressure, stress, delivering a baby less than 12 months ago, or being pregnant with more than one baby. 


DPBH participates in the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, a partnership with national experts and other states working towards reducing infant mortality and improving birth outcomes.  Nevada’s current initiatives focus on reducing premature births and include a provider education webinar on hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P), a medical intervention aimed at reducing prematurity. 


For more information on preventing premature births, promoting healthy birth outcomes, or about the Maternal and Child Health Program, please contact Christina Turner, Maternal and Infant Health Coordinator at or by calling (775) 684-4285.  For more information about DPBH, please visit:




Martha Framsted
(775) 684.3211