Tennessee's pre-term birth rate drops, still not close to goal - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee's pre-term birth rate drops, but still not close to goal

Posted: Updated:
Carrie Chadwick of Lenoir City watches her son, Lincoln, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Monday at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Photo by Paul Efird/News Sentinel Carrie Chadwick of Lenoir City watches her son, Lincoln, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Monday at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Photo by Paul Efird/News Sentinel
KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -

Carrie Chadwick knew a little bit about what to expect when her son, Lincoln, was born premature, at 33 weeks' gestation.

Chadwick's oldest son, Jordan, now 6, was born at 31 weeks and spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her other two children, ages 5 and 2, were both early but not as early — 35 weeks — and did not have to stay in the NICU.

Knowing her history meant Lincoln's risk of being born early was higher, Chadwick aimed to get to 35 weeks, taking blood pressure medication and shots to help stave off pre-term labor. But Lincoln, who weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces when he was born two weeks ago, will probably spend another three weeks in University of Tennessee Medical Center's NICU unit before Chadwick and husband Andrew, an electrician, get to take him home to Lenoir City.

On Monday, the March of Dimes released its state-by-state 2013 Premature Birth Report Card. Tennessee's showed improvement in rates of "late pre-term birth" — 34-36 weeks' gestation — but the state's pre-term birth rate, at 12.5 percent, still falls short of the 9.6 percent goal the campaign hopes to achieve by 2020. That earned Tennessee a "C" grade, same as last year.

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel




Powered by Frankly