Facts about Preterm Birth

A recent global report pertaining to preterm births released by the World Health Organization has placed St.Kitts among the lowest rates in the world.

Preterm or premature babies are born before 37 weeks of the pregnancy.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, preterm births reflect the quality of a country’s health system particularly care delivered during pregnancy and overall care availability to the population at the community-level.

Pediatrician, Dr Ian Jacobs said there are many factors involved to avoid premature births, but one way to minimize the risk is to have early and regular medical visits while pregnant.

“This often helps to detect problems like hypertension and diabetes in pregnancy which can sometimes lead to preterm delivery. Also, the assurance of attending nursing or medical care regularly throughout pregnancy is important in reducing stress levels and in picking up problems early.”

Dr Jacobs said while care is accessible at the various doctors and free clinics, many expectant mothers do not go early enough.

“Although we do have plenty options available, the difficulty is that not many mothers access it as early as they should because the earlier you get to antenatal clinic the better the outcome will be.”

In 2010, the Federation’s preterm birth rate was 5.7 out of every 100 which puts us below Antigua & Barbuda, Japan and Sweden.

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