Doctor: Premature Births Cost Society $5.8 Billion A Year

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 Let’s walk together for stronger, healthier babies.

More from Marla Diamond
  • Jessica

    I agree Lisa – I had a preemie as well. Where did human compassion go? Natural Selection – really? Next time come up with a more educated comment – having a baby naturally has nothing to do with premature births. There are many reasons as to why there are premature births. I too would have loved to carry my little girl to FULL TERM so I could have held her once she was born and bring her home from the hospital. I’ll continue to support the March of Dimes so comments like these are cancelled out through medical research for innocent babies who don’t desesrve these comments!

  • mj

    i think its time for government intervention . we NEED legislature to bab premature birth .

    • mj

      ^ ban

  • nyc

    Why are there so many premature births ? Is it the mothers age, diet ? $ 5.8 Billion Dollars ? Strange and hard to believe !

  • Rod in

    Just deliver all babies naturally. It’s time we stop interfering with Natural Selection.

  • Lisa

    Many of us who have preemies do NOT ask for this to happen! It is sad and a very difficult thing to get through. The babies do have many life-long issues. Leaving your child behind in a NICU is a horrible experience. I would have taken all the “stretch marks” in the world to have my 2 children born healthy and FULL TERM!

  • Neal

    I think the Republicans in House of Representatives should write a bill too ban premature births. That would save us lots of money. Wheres a Tea Bagger when you need one?

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