November is Prematurity Awareness Month

Prematurity Awareness  Month

The March of Dimes has named November as Prematurity Awareness Month to focus attention on the serious problem of prematurity.

According to the March of Dimes, in the United States, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely and worldwide, 13 million babies are born too soon each year. Florida received a “D” grade on the March of Dimes’ annual Prematurity Report Card.

Prematurity is influenced by poor maternal health, smoking, lack of prenatal care and late pre-term births. Non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks gestation have increased significantly in the past 10 years and are associated with increased NICU admissions, breathing and feeding problems, increased risk of infection and increased rates of C-sections and late preterm births. Much of the problem stems back to misconceptions about what constitutes a full-term delivery and the assumption that delivering after 36 weeks is safe.

The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions (FAHSC), under the leadership of the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, has begun implementation of a three-year statewide consumer education campaign in partnership with the March of Dimes. The campaign, called “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait,” highlights the importance of the last weeks of pregnancy, with the overall goal of reducing elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation.

Banner ads can be downloaded here: Banner Ads – MOD 39 Weeks.

Recipes for a Healthy Pregnancy:

Visit the March of Dimes 39 Weeks Web site for more information.