Premature delivery is a leading cause of death for newborns and the rate of babies arriving too soon has climbed a staggering 36 percent since 1984. Technology and medicine have improved by leaps and bounds since then - so why is the preemie rate rising?
Dr. Alan Fleischman of the March of Dimes says factors like obesity and smoking can lead to early labor, but there's a bigger problem. Twenty percent of women in child bearing years have no health insurance - and there is no guaranteed access to prenatal care if they do get pregnant.
Education and access are the tools needed for the U.S. to strive for first place - and allow more of our tiniest citizens to enjoy a first birthday.
That's a page from my notebook.
I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.
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