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Premature BirthMCH_premature-baby.jpg

A premature baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. 

In an average week in Oklahoma:

- 1,039 babies are born
- 144 babies are born preterm
- 87 babies are born low birthweight
- 8 babies die before reaching their first birthday.

Did you know that a full-term pregnancy lasts about
9 months?
40 weeks?
280 days?

Babies born too soon weigh less than full-term babies. Preterm babies may not be finished growing or developing, and may need special care after they’re born. This is especially important for African American women. In the United States, more than 1 in 6 African American babies are born before 37 weeks.

In Oklahoma, prematurity is the #1 reason for babies dying in their first month of life.

40 weeks of a healthy pregnancy is the best gift you can give your baby. Getting healthy before you get pregnant greatly increases a woman's chances of having a healthy baby and scheduling an early birth for non-medical reasons can cause problems for mom and baby.

See your healthcare provider before you get pregnant and keep all prenatal appointments when you are pregnant.


If a woman goes into labor before 37 weeks it is called preterm labor. The causes of prematurity are mostly unknown. Preterm birth can happen to any pregnant woman and may have no warning signs. But there are several risk factors that increase the chances of having a preterm birth.

This website is intended to provide you with a list of available resources and to answer any questions you may have about prematurity.

The March of Dimes Foundation is a primary partner dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

What's New...

Video Emphasizes Importance of Reducing Elective Deliveries Before 39 Weeks of Pregnancy
Oklahoma Earns "D" on March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card

Television spot highlights importance of full-term birth (2.MOV)
Free educational materials online!


Contact Information:
Perinatal and Reproductive Health Division        Office of Perinatal Quality 
1000 N.E. 10th Street, Rm 905                        Improvement OUHSC, 
Oklahoma City, OK 73117                               Department of OB/GYN
Phone: (405) 271-4476                                    800 N.E. 15th Street, ROB 204
E-mail: Jill Nobles-Botkin, MS, APRN-CNM      Phone (405) 271-7777
                                                                    E-mail: Barbara O'Brien,  
                                                                    RN, MS, Program Manager

 

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