Around the world, it is estimated that 15 million babies are born prematurely on an annual basis.
West Virginia is a leading state in the USA with premature births.
The U.S. has one of the highest preterm birth rates among industrialized nations.
Premature birth is a birth that happens prior to 37 weeks gestation. Preterm birth is the largest contributor to infant death in the United States.
Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.
In addition to the human toll, preterm birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs, according to the National Academy of Medicine. They are at greater risk for lifelong disabilities and for parents that have a baby in a NICU, it means separation from their newborn.