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Prematurity Awareness Month

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Prematurity Awareness Month

Did you know that preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality? November is Prematurity Awareness Month. CCH wants to raise awareness and education on the 400,000 premature births every year in the United States and how we can help.

Nearly 1 in 10 babies are born preterm, or, before the normal 37-40 weeks of pregnancy. These babies miss out on a crucial period of growth and development that occurs within those final weeks. For example, in week 37 your baby's immune system continues to strengthen, their lungs become fully developed and they are beginning to gain dexterity in their fingers.

We don’t understand all the reasons some babies are born too soon. Even women who appear to do everything “right” can deliver too early. But we do know that some factors increase the risk of preterm birth: young or advanced age of the mother, cigarette or substance abuse, stress, depression, and carrying more than one baby. Factors that determine how we thrive or falter in our environment – poverty, lack of access to quality healthcare, discrimination, and underemployment – also play a role. Many of these factors are more common in African- American communities and threaten the health of pregnant women and their families.


The CDC has identified 5 key strategies we can implement that have been proven to reduce premature births.

  1. Preventive measures for unintended pregnancies and birth spacing--the practice of waiting for an ideal length of time between pregnancies

  2. Providing women ages 18-44 access to healthcare before and between pregnancies to help manage chronic conditions and modify other risk behaviors like smoking

  3. Identifying women at risk for preterm birth and offer effective treatments to prevent them

  4. Discouraging deliveries before 39 weeks without a medical need to do so

  5. When using in vitro fertilization, transfer just one embryo as appropriate to reduce multiple births.


While CCH does not have a NICU unit, our maternal child department uses the resources and tools they have to their full capacity when it comes to your baby. The department provides care and services to low-risk, as well as high-risk (level two) patients. Other features of the OB unit are a C-Section (operating) room, a six-bed level II NICU Nursery and three dedicated Postpartum rooms.

For information on the services provided by our our Maternal Child department, visit our website at:



Barfield, MD, MPH, W. (2016, January 1). CDC Newsroom. CDC.

Pregnancy Development in Weeks 37-40 | Gerber. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from

  • Category: Campbell County Memorial Hospital, Maternal Child