Houston is our nation's fourth-largest city. With no racial or ethnic majority, it has one of the fastest-growing and most diverse populations anywhere in the world, with a talented workforce cutting across the energy, health care, aerospace and information technology sectors. Houston anchors Harris County, which is our nation's third largest county with 4.7 million residents. With just over 67,000 live births, Harris County babies accounted for approximately one-fifth of all babies born in Texas in 2018.
The area also faces challenges. Poverty and food insecurity, alongside factors such as inadequate access to health care and being uninsured, help fuel the local maternal and infant health crisis. These factors contribute to high rates of preterm birth, infant mortality and severe maternal morbidity, particularly for communities of color.
Houston, 2017-2019 Average
Harris County, 2016-2018 Average
Erica, a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in a Houston community clinic, delivered her son by emergency Cesarean birth at 31 weeks after experiencing weeks of high blood pressure. During the immediate postpartum period, she thought that her hospital stay should’ve gone differently: her blood pressure continued to be elevated and her requests for treatment were consistently ignored. Hear Her.
The Best Place for Working Parents promotes policies that benefit working parents and businesses’ bottom line, including company-paid health coverage, paid time off, parental leave, onsite child care, childcare assistance, backup child care, flexible hours, remote work, nursing benefits, and “Best Place” designation. The self-assessment, real-time dashboard results, and the Best Place for Working Parents® designation for qualifying businesses can be accessed at business.bestplace4workingparents.com.
In the 2021 March of Dimes Report Card, Harris County and Houston received a F. This article showcases the local data surrounding preterm birth.