This year, health care providers and organizations like March of Dimes, working to reduce the number of babies born to early, have reason to briefly celebrate. For the seventh year in a row, preterm birth rates had dropped. Even better news? At 11.4 percent in the United States, the preterm birth rate is the lowest in 17 years and meets the goal set forth by federal government seven years ahead of target. However, everyone agrees there are far too many babies born before 37 weeks.