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March of Dimes Award-Winning Study Identifies New Approach to Personalize Prevention of Preterm Birth

New research findings may soon help doctors personalize preterm birth prevention treatments by identifying which women at higher risk for preterm birth will be helped by progesterone injections. Injections of one type of progesterone, a synthetic form of a hormone naturally produced during pregnancy, have been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent preterm births More »

Study Suggests Women 35 and Older are at Decreased Risk of Having Anatomically Abnormal Child

In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. CST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in New Orleans, researchers will report that women ages 35 and older are at a decreased risk of having a child with a major congenital malformation, after excluding chromosomal abnormalities. Advanced More »

Study Finds Multifaceted Intervention Leads to Significant Reduction of Cesarean Deliveries and Neonatal Morbidity

In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 in an oral plenary session at 8 a.m. CST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in New Orleans, researchers will report that Cesarean deliveries reviews and best practices implementation are effective to provide optimal care by an appropriate management of medical More »

Study Finds Remifentanil Patient Controlled Analgesia Not as Effective as Epidural Analgesia in Managing Pain Relief during Labor

In a study to be presented on Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m. CST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in New Orleans, researchers will report findings which suggest remifentanil patient controlled analgesia is not equivalent to epidural analgesia for pain, pain appreciation scores, and overall satisfaction in women who request More »

Study Finds Obesity during Pregnancy is Independent Risk Factor for Long-Term Cardiovascular Morbidity

In a study to be presented on Feb. 7 at 2:45 p.m. CST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting ™, in New Orleans, researchers will report that obesity during pregnancy is an independent risk factor for long-term cardiovascular morbidity, and these complications tend to occur at a younger age. Researchers More »

Cell Free DNA Prenatal Testing is Not Definitive

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014—The New England Center for Investigative Reporting,, a nonprofit describing itself as “a nonprofit news site dedicated to watchdog journalism,” released a report on Dec. 13, “ Have new prenatal tests been dangerously oversold?”

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Joins with Other Organizations to Brief Congress on Need for Medical Protocols that will Save the Lives of Infants in the U.S. by Reducing Preterm Birth

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2014—Statistics in the United States remain staggering in regard to infant mortality. According to the United Nations, the U.S. ranks 55th in the world. This ranking is behind nations like Cuba and Slovakia. Each year, more than 26,000 infants die before their first birthday. A baby dies of preterm birth every 30 seconds in the world. Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality, affecting 11.5 percent of all births in the U.S.—which is also among the worst in the world. Infant mortality disproportionately affects African Americans with a rate that is double that of Caucasians.

SMFM to host a Congressional Briefing on Preterm Birth Prevention in Washington, D.C. on December 11, 2014

On December 11th at 12 p.m. EST, the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM), American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), in cooperation with the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, are hosting a congressional briefing: “The Key to Reducing Infant Mortality: Reducing Preterm Birth.”  This briefing follows a joint letter to Secretary Burwell, Department of Health and Human Services, which calls for attention in the national infant mortality reduction plan to the 2012 publications of SMFM, ACOG, and ACNM which outline a new preterm birth prevention strategy.

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Vincenzo Berghella, President, Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine
  • Dr. Roberto Romero, Chief, Perinatal Research Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Dr. Siobhan Dolan, Medical Advisor to the March of Dimes
  • Jeff Myers, President and CEO, Medicaid Health Plans of America

If you would like to attend to briefing, please RSVP by Dec. 9 to Alex Fabian (202-621-7077 or

For media inquiries, please contact Vicki Bendure (202-374-9259 or


With 24,000 infant deaths each year, the U.S. ranks 55th in the world for infant mortality. Nearly 70% of babies who die before their first birthday were born prematurely.  The U.S. preterm birth rate of 11.5% also ranks among the worst in the world.  The economic toll of preterm birth exceeds $26.2 billion annually, largely due to expensive Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admissions.

In 2012, publications from SMFM, ACOG, and ACNM recommended expanding evidence based use progesterone intervention to two high risk populations.  Progesterone is proven to reduce the rates of preterm birth, infant morbidity, and infant mortality while also reducing NICU admissions in singleton pregnancies with either a prior spontaneous preterm birth or premature cervical shortening. Screening for obstetric history is current practice.  The addition of universal cervical length screening enables preventive treatment for all of the pregnant women, and their babies, who can benefit from progesterone.

Medicaid Health Plans of America Center for Best Practices recently released an Issue Brief addressing the impact of preterm birth on Medicaid. This publication includes guidance and resources for quality improvement initiatives to drive adoption of the professional society guidelines.  Medicaid pays for 48% of pregnancies; and, this population suffers a disproportionate share of preterm births and adverse outcomes.

Letter to HHS Sec Burwell on Preterm Birth Prevention Strategies

Click here for additional information. 

Issue Brief: Medicaid Health Plan Roles to Reduce Preterm Birth Risk

Click here for additional information. 

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