One of the most common misconceptions about pregnancy is that it lasts nine months. In reality, the average pregnancy is 266 days or 38 weeks from conception. Doctors typically date a pregnancy in weeks to gain a more accurate and specific age of the pregnancy. A doctor predicts a due date by counting back three months from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP), then adding one year and seven days. Pregnancies are broken up into trimesters: 0-12 weeks make up the first trimester, 13-24 weeks are the second trimester and 25-40 weeks constitute the third trimester"
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., FEB. 3, 2004 – The number of babies born prematurely (prior to 37 weeks gestation) reached a record high of 480,812 in 2002, according to a new government report. Nationwide, the rate of premature births jumped 13% between 1992 and 2002, with seven states showing increases of 30 percent or more."This is alarming news," says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "Premature birth is now the most common, serious and costly infant health problem facing our nation. Last year annual hospitalization of these infants cost $13.6 billion. As a nation we must address this growing crisis in infant health and make it a priority."
March of Dimes