Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health      

kidsdata advisory

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health | February 2, 2012

Prenatal Care, Low Birthweight, Prematurity: How is CA Faring?

This July, two laws take effect in California requiring individual and small group health plans to provide coverage for maternity services, including prenatal care. This mandate could positively influence the overall health of children. Prenatal care greatly reduces the risk of infant mortality. Timely prenatal care also lowers the risk of premature birth and lower birthweight, both of which can leave babies at increased danger for long-term disabilities. 

How is the state faring on these critical measures of infant health? As California approaches the enactment of these laws, newly posted data on provide insight. See this slideshow for details >>

Prenatal Care

About 83% of California infants had mothers who received prenatal care in the first trimester, according to 2009 data, but percentages vary greatly across the state.

Low Birthweight

In 2009, about 7% of California infants were born at low birthweight (about 5 lbs, 5 oz or less), a percentage that has edged up slightly since 1999.

Premature Birth

About 10% of infants in California are born prematurely (less than 37 weeks of gestation).

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