Like preterm births, the number of low-birth-weight babies has been declining since 2006. The latest rate of low-birth-weight babies (about 5.5 pounds or less) was 8.1 percent of babies born in 2011.
"Barriers to access to care are being reduced," Rabin said. "There are more and more programs to take care of the under- and uninsured. I think this will keep getting better."
Both Rabin and McCabe recommended getting care as soon as you know you're pregnant -- although ideally, you should see your doctor before getting pregnant to make sure you're in the best health you can be and you can start taking prenatal vitamins.
Learn more about premature birth and steps you can take to prevent it from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.