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Doctor: Premature Births Cost Society $5.8 Billion A Year

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Premature Baby (file / credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Premature Baby (file / credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

diamond_feature Marla Diamond
I began my career at WCBS in the fall of 1997 as the station's New...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - One in 8 babies are born prematurely in the United States each year and the societal costs are enormous. Many premature births cannot be stopped but others are planned.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On Why Someone Would Want A Premature Delivery

“A few years ago, we had a grand rounds by a plastic surgeon, who told us that starlets in Hollywood demand to be delivered at 34 weeks so that they don’t develop stretch marks,” says Dr. Rebecca Schiffman.

At that stage, a baby’s lungs and brain are still developing.

“These babies may have longer long-term complications,” says Schiffman. “Premature births cost society approximately $5.8 billion a year.”

Schiffman is director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, where the policy has changed in the past few years.

“[There are] no elective c-sections and no elective inductions of labor before 39 weeks,” Schiffman tells WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Elective deliveries starting at 36 weeks were fairly common until an educational campaign by the March of Dimes.

WCBS 880 and Walgreens invite you to join us as we team up with the March of Dimes for the March for Babies walk on Sunday, May starting at Lincoln Center. Help fight premature birth. To register, go to marchforbabies.org. Let’s walk together for stronger, healthier babies.

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