During this World Prematurity Week, the March of Dimes has released a new report card on the epidemic. For the first time in a decade the numbers are growing.
One in ten babies in Missouri are born too soon, giving the state a C grade from the March of Dimes. Kansas fares only moderately better with an 8.8 percent pre-term birth rate, earning a B grade.
According to the March of Dimes, one reason that babies are born too soon is a lack of prenatal care. Low income mothers are often unable to take time off work or find transportation to prenatal appointments.
The good news is that babies who are born early have a better chance of survival than ever. Some neo-natal ICUs in the metro are equipped to care for babies as early as 22 weeks gestation.
Julie McBride delivered her baby Juliana after a car accident. Juliana was only 25 weeks old and weighed just 1 pound, 11 ounces. Both Julie and her husband Jevon were injured in the traumatic car accident, but are recovering now and Juliana is up to almost three and a half pounds.
FOX 4's Carey Wickersham spoke with them live in a rare interview inside the neo-natal ICU at St. Luke's Medical Center.