Last year, I wrote about World Prematurity Awareness Day and how it just didn’t seem like it was near enough to raise the level of awareness needed about premature births. In the US, the entire month of November is dedicated to being Prematurity Awareness Month. For the entire month of November, the March of Dimes will work to help the nation to focus it’s attention on premature births. The March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Awareness Campaign in 2003 and since then they have made significant strides in raising awareness about premature births and in working towards reducing the rate of premature births but there is still a long way to go. Recent news reports that the premature birth rate is down slightly to 12.2% but still quite far from the March of Dimes goal of 9.6% by the year 2020.
Premature Birth Facts:
- 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely in the United States
- Worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely
- Premature births are the number on killer of babies
- Premature babies are at risk for severe health problems and lifelong disabilities.
As part of National Prematurity Awareness Month, The March of Dimes has released 2011 Premature Birth Report Cards by State. Overall the United States has a grade of “C” when it comes to preventing premature births. You can click here to view the map to see how your state ranks for preventing premature births. It’s rather alarming that we only have one state with a grade of “A” and four states have a grade of “F.” Clearly, much more still needs to be done towards working to prevent premature births in the United States.
November 17th is World Prematurity Awareness Day. World Prematurity Day is set aside as one way to honor the million babies who die each year from being born too soon along with 12 million who struggle to survive. See inspiring stories and get updates on Facebook by joining the World Prematurity Day Facebook page.
How you can help:
- Learn the causes and who is at risk for premature births, so you can educate not only yourself, but your friends, families, coworkers, and anyone who will listen.
- Learn that you can reduce your risks by getting prenatal care, spreading out your births by 18 months (if your first was a preemie), and talk to your doctor about progesterone supplements.
- Share this on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail the link to this article, so other people know it’s Prematurity Awareness Month or about World Prematurity Day on November 17th. You can also like and share the World Prematurity Facebook Page.
- Read more on the National Institute of Health’s site about premature births including the latest research and news about babies born prematurely.
- Consider a donation to March of Dimes
- Find out how your organization or community can initiate a Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait campaign.