Inform adults about the problems and common complications resulting from preterm labor, as well as descreasing birth defects and infant mortality.

A birth that takes place more than three weeks before the due date (37 Weeks) is considered a premature birth; which currently occurs in about one of every eight pregnancies.

Less time developing in the womb is an increased risk of medical and developmental problems. The rate of premature birth has grown by more than 30 percent in the last 20 years, and healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing preterm labor and birth.

Preterm labor and birth may have various complications.

Survival is possible for babies born as early as 23 to 26 weeks, but these preemies may face a lifetime of health problems — including cerebral palsy, fluid accumulation in the brain (hydrocephalus), seizures, lasting neurological problems or developmental delays, intracranial hemorrhaging, intestinal problems, and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing preterm labor and birth.

Seek regular prenatal care.
Eat healthily- you'll need more folic acid, calcium, iron, protein, other essential nutrients, and a daily prenatal vitamin.
Manage chronic conditions.
Follow your doctor's guidelines for activity.

*****Research suggests that the hormone progesterone may prevent preterm labor in women at high risk. If you're a candidate for this treatment, your doctor may recommend weekly progesterone injections. *******

There are many ways to support research preventing premature labor, as well as spreading the knowledge. Visit www.marchofdimes.com and donate in one of the many methods available.

This is an important cause that needs immediate attention, as hundreds of thousands of preemies die annually -- a number that could be vastly reduced by spreading knowledge and informing others of prevention techniques.

1. Premature birth was the underlying cause of twice as many U.S. infant deaths as had been estimated previously, according to a new analysis by government scientists.

2. 34% of all infant deaths could be attributed to premature births, according to the research by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control.

3. Fighting Premature Birth is Fighting to Ensure a Healthy Future for All.