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Texas delivers the first Newborn Babies Week

The first step to a healthy baby begins at the doctor's office, but thousands of Texas women are forgoing prenatal care. Texas ranks second in the nation in the percentage of women who don't receive prenatal care during their first trimester. That's why Rajam Ramamurthy, M.D., a professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, created Texas Newborn Babies Week. Now through Feb. 10, expectant moms will get extra encouragement to see a doctor early in their pregnancy.

"Our first goal is to increase attendance for prenatal care in the first and second trimester of pregnancy," Dr. Ramamurthy said. "We hope to increase the number of women getting prenatal care to 75 percent, although we know it will take a few years to reach that goal."

The Texas Legislature officially created Texas Newborn Babies Week with the passage of Senate Resolution 750 last year. Sens. Jeff Wentworth and Judith Zaffirini co-sponsored the resolution. This is the first year the event has taken place.

Dr. Ramamurthy said the week is designed to remind expectant moms of the basics, such as no smoking, drinking, or using medications without a doctor's permission. It's also a time to remind moms of the importance of prenatal care for a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.

Contact: Amanda Gallagher or Aileen Salinas