KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 4/17/11, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Alan Bedrick, MD, pediatrician and UA College of Medicine professor, and Randy McDonald, Chair of the March of Dimes, So. AZ Chapter, March For Babies. Preterm labor and delivery can happen to any pregnant woman, even if she does everything she can to have a healthy pregnancy. 

Bedrick says premature birth is when a baby is born too early, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. He says in nearly 4 of 10 premature births, the cause is unknown.  Infections and inflammation are often to blame, he says.  He says the March of Dimes funds research aimed at identifying how gene-environment interactions play a role in preterm birth. He says it is hoped that, through research, experts will better understand how certain factors increase a woman's risk of having preterm labor or birth. He says most women have “no clue” that there might be a problem until after a baby is born. 

Bedrick says there are things woman can do to reduce the chances of a pre-term baby, such as getting regular prenatal checkups, reducing stress, not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke, not drinking alcoholic beverages and not using drugs. He says taking a vitamin supplement daily before and during pregnancy has shown to be effective in preventing pre-term births.

McDonald discusses this year’s annual fundraiser, the March For Babies, Saturday, April 30, at the
University of Arizona Mall. He says 85-percent of the money raised stays in Southern Arizona.