Efforts underway to encourage moms to wait 39 weeks before delivering

The word is spreading — healthy babies are worth the wait!

Doctors, mothers and community organizations are all encouraging mothers to wait 39 weeks before delivering. According to the March of Dimes, a December 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that only 25 percent of women know a full-term pregnancy should last at least 39 weeks.

Here in Florida, the state chapter of the March of Dimes awarded the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions (FAHSC) funding to implement a consumer education campaign to increase understanding of the importance of the last weeks of pregnancy and the contribution of this period to healthy infant development and reduced morbidity. The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition will coordinate implementation activities for the three-year effort.

The March of Dimes also unveiled a new Prematurity Prevention Resource Center (PPRC), which is a comprehensive online source of information on prematurity and prematurity prevention, providing “one-stop shopping” for those seeking information, tools, and resources on prematurity from March of Dimes. There is information on interventions, research, advocacy, professional education, global initiatives, teaching tools and resources to use with patients. It is designed primarily for professional use, but is open to anyone.