March of Dimes

Adrian Clark | Flickr / Flickr

Officials from Washington University, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes announced Monday they will launch a new March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

(via Flickr/Joshua Smith)

When Reggie Rideout's daughter Maya was born seven years ago, she weighed just 1 lb. 15 oz.

"I was aiming for a St. Patrick's baby and ended up with a Christmas baby," said Rideout. Her daughter was born at 27 weeks. “I was just so unprepared. And I’m a planner....All of a sudden, not only are you not pregnant anymore, but your baby is very sick.”

Despite Maya's tough start, she is doing well now. "She's a first-grader. She's healthy and intelligent. You would never look at her and know she was born actually a little over three months early," said Rideout.

March of Dimes

Updated at 5:20 p.m.

The March of Dimes has released its annual state rankings of premature birth rates, giving Missouri a grade of "C" for the second year in a row.