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Preeclampsia in Health Policy: Noting Prematurity Awareness Month

Heard on the Hill – 111th Congress, Second Session

Congressional Briefing to Mark Prematurity Awareness Month

On November 30, the Women’s Health Task Force of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, in conjunction with other women’s health organizations, will co-host a Capitol Hill briefing. The panel of speakers will discuss risk factors for preterm birth, as well as the findings of the annual March of Dimes 50-state survey on prematurity. 

In the News

Op-Ed Calls for Increased Focus on Maternal Health

Annie Murphy Paul, the author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, states in a Washington Post op-ed piece that there has been inadequate attention paid to maternal health in the United States. A woman’s health during pregnancy, Paul notes, can have a significant impact on her child’s future development and well-being. 

Recent Study Shows Bed Rest During Pregnancy Can Have Negative Impacts

Dr. Judith Maloni, a professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University, recently conducted a study showing that bed rest during pregnancy can have negative consequences. Though many health care providers recommend bed rest as a way of preventing premature birth, Dr. Maloni found that it can also increase the likelihood of certain complications—including high blood pressure and preeclampsia. 

March of Dimes “Report Card” Shows Some Improvement in Premature Birth Rate

On November 17, the March of Dimes issued its annual “report card” on preterm birth in the United States—which demonstrated mixed results. Though the preterm birth rate has dropped in 32 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. earned an overall low grade of “D” from researchers. Said March of Dimes President Jennifer Howse, “We believe this decline is the beginning of a trend, but must be supported by better health care, new research and adoption of intervention programs to lower the risk of preterm birth.” 

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