NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –  One in nine babies in the Unites States is born too soon.  The March of Dimes aims to change that.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, one program is helping low-income expectant mothers carry their babies to term.

Two Queens hospitals, Jamaica Medical Center and Elmhurst Hospital, are partnering with the March of Dimes to prevent prematurity.

“While the science may discover some phenomenal interventions, if the clients at greatest risk for these bad outcomes are not aware of these things, then tools are really being underutilized,” Dr. Sandra McCalla said.

McCalla, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, is spearheading the project.

“One of the primary objectives is to educate the patient in a way that’s meaningful and that can be tracked,” she said.

Obesity, hypertension and diabetes are common risk factors for premature birth. The program seeks to empower low-income expectant mothers to take charge of their prenatal care.

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