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Mothers and Babies

Under the category of “Mothers and Babies,” the CDC is interested in tracking preterm (early) births and low birthweight deliveries (infants weighing less than 2500 grams, or 5lbs. 8oz). These categories of births are associated with modifiable risk factors, many of which are related to public health. Reducing the risk and preventing preterm and low and very low birthweight births would likely contribute to an overall reduction in illness, disability and death of infants. By collecting this type of data, the State and the CDC can look for trends that may identify potential environmental exposures as well as other risks that can be modified and therefore reduce some specific health risk(s) in future generations of South Carolina’s children.


Please note that the data reported in the following maps and tables related to health outcomes represent all reported cases. When interpreting this data, it is important to understand that some of the numbers reflect cases for which there is no known environmental cause or association.

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  • Birth weight: The first weight of the newborn obtained after birth.
  • Infant death: Death of a live born infant under one year of age
  • Live birth: The complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which, after such expulsion or extraction, breathes, or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Heartbeats are to be distinguished from transient cardiac contractions; respirations are to be distinguished from fleeting respiratory efforts or gasps. All states require the reporting of live births regardless of length of gestation or birth weight.
  • Low birth weight: Low birth weight is a weight at birth, which is less than 2,500 grams or 5 pounds 8 ounces.
  • Neonatal death: Death of a live born infant under 28 days of age.
  • Perinatal death: Death of a live born infant less than 7 days of age or a fetus past the 28th week of gestation.
  • Postneonatal death: Death of a live born infant 28-364 days of age.
  • Preterm birth: A live birth occurring before 37 completed weeks of gestation.
  • Sex ratio: Calculated as the number of term male singleton births per the number of term female singleton births in a given year.
  • Singleton birth: A singleton birth results from a pregnancy with only one baby, not a twin or other multiple birth.
  • Term birth: A live birth at or above 37 completed weeks of gestation.
  • Total fertility rate (TFR): Calculated as the sum of all age-specific fertility rates multiplied by five. The TFR estimates the number of births that a hypothetical group of 1,000 women would have over their lifetimes, based on the age-specific birth rates in a given year. It can be interpreted as a replacement rate. Replacement is the rate at which a given generation can exactly replace itself, generally considered to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women.
  • Very low birth weight: Very low birth weight is a weight at birth, which is less than 1,500 grams or 3 pounds 4 ounces.
  • Very preterm birth: A live birth occurring before 32 completed weeks of gestation.

Related Resources

Track It. Map It. Use It. SC Environmental Public Health Tracking National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program
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