In the United States, prematurity/low birth weight is the second leading cause of all infant deaths during the first year of life.
According to the Office of Minority Health, during 2000-2002 in the United States, African American mothers were nearly 2.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic white mothers to begin prenatal care in the third trimester, or not receive prenatal care at all.
As a result, preterm birth rates were highest for Black infants (17.6 percent) than other minorities. African American infants were over four times as likely to die from causes related to low birth weight, compared to non-Hispanic white infants.
Prenatal care is important in making sure you and your baby stay healthy throughout pregnancy and the birth of your child.