ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri’s preterm birth rate is on the rise, 10.2 percent this past year compared to 10 percent the year before.

That’s according to the 2017 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card.

Missouri received a “C” grade. The national average is 9.6 percent. Illinois also got a “C” with a 10.3 percent rate.

Stacey Stewart is president of the March of Dimes.

“We need to do everything we can to make sure we uncover the solutions to premature birth and that we make sure that, especially moms, have all the help and support they need to be as healthy as they can be and have the healthiest pregnancy as possible as well,” she says.

Broken down by counties, St. Charles County had a 9.7 percent preterm birth rate for a grade of C, St. Louis County got a “D” with a 10.6 percent rate, while St. Louis City received an “F”, with a 13.3 percent preterm rate.

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