Premature birthrate drops in Colorado

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DENVER -- Newborn babies in Colorado are healthier than ever, and the rate of premature births is down for the first time in 30 years, according to the March of Dimes.

If you plan on having a baby anytime soon, there are few things you need to know.

From conception to delivery, a woman has to take important steps to give her baby the best chance of being born healthy and strong.

Those last few weeks are important for brain development and other organ development," said Scott Matthews with the March of Dimes.

An awareness campaign targeted for women is showing success in lowering the number of babies born prematurely in Colorado. The pre-term birthrate has decreased by 15 percent  since 2006.

The March of Dimes is working with hospitals to develop better ways to monitor patients and make sure new mothers are informed.

Matthews said many women have misconceptions about the length of healthy pregnancy.

"Women often think of pregnancy as being 36 weeks. They think 9 months times 4 weeks equals 36, when really a full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks," Matthews said.

Being informed is important and can make all the difference in your baby’s health.

For more information visit www.marchofdimes.com and   http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premature-birth/DS00137/DSECTION=prevention.