A few years ago, I joined a group of co-workers and participated in “march for babies”, a 3 mile walk to raise money for the March of Dimes. March of Dimes is an organization that funds basic and clinical research worldwide and supports services that help women and infants receive medical support and social services. Their mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
Today is Prematurity Awareness Day and I wanted to take a minute to share a few of the alarming statistics about prematurity in our country.
According to March of Dimes:
- 1 in 8 babies is born premature in our country
- The prematurity rate in America is higher than most other developed nations
- The U.S. scored only a “D” in the premature birth report card, demonstrating that over half a million babies in our nation didn’t get the healthy start they deserved
- In America alone, the rate of premature birth has increased by 36 percent in the past 25 years
- The worldwide rate of prematurity is almost 13 million babies per year; more than 1 million die because they are born to soon
Research concludes that preventing prematurity begins as early as preconception. The March of Dimes website provides resources and tools to help educate parents so they can take steps toward prevention. You can also contact your local chapter for more information.
You can support March of Dimes by participating in march for babies and other events, through financial contribution or by volunteering.
Whether you have had a personal experience with premature birth, or are just now learning about it; as a community we can each contribute to this cause.