U.S. Reports Drop In Stillbirth And Newborn Pregnancies

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- More women are having healthy pregnancies across the country.

According to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the number of stillbirths and newborn deaths dropped by 11.5 percent from 2007 to 2015.

It used data from the National Center for Health Statistics of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5NEWS talked with Dr. Don Phillips of Obestetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Clinic in Fort Smith.

He says they don’t see stillbirths or newborn deaths too frequently, so it’s harder for doctors to observe a noticeable change in the trend. However, they have seen fewer babies admitted to the neonatal, intensive-care unit.

Dr. Phillips attributes this trend, in part, to their 39-week rule. Typically, a full-term pregnancy falls around 39-40 weeks.

“We're not allowing anybody to be delivered electively before they reach 39-weeks,” Dr. Phillips said. “A lot of people get very uncomfortable in the last part of pregnancy.”

Moreover, he mentions that one of the easiest ways to reduce the risk of stillbirths is to quit smoking.

5NEWS also chatted with one new mom who mentions that prenatal care is paramount to ensuring a healthier pregnancy.

“'I feel like it's very important to make sure you go to all of your doctors’ appointments. Make sure if you follow up if you have any concerns,” said Corie Porter, who is also a labor and delivery nurse.

Porter gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Shiloh-Grace on April 3.

She says she was very cautious about what she did and ate during her first-trimester of pregnancy.

These new findings could elevate the U.S. in the ranks. According to the most current data made available by the CDC, the U.S. ranked last out of 26 developed countries in terms of infant mortality for all gestational ages.