Today the March of Dimes and the entire country take some time out to focus on the serious problem of premature birth. In the United States, 1 out of every 8 babies is born too early.
Many are too small and too sick to go home. Instead, they face weeks or even months in the hospital. These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complications and death. Many will suffer ongoing health problems throughout their lives.
Through its Prematurity Campaign, the March of Dimes is fighting premature birth. You can help. Learn how your state is doing and sign the petition today to help in this battle.
* If you are pregnant, find out how you can reduce your risk of preterm labor.
* If your baby came early and is in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), get helpful information on our prematurity Web site. Or join our online community Share Your Story, which serves families with a baby in a NICU. By sharing their experiences, by laughing and crying together, this wonderful group of parents support each other during this difficult time.
I watched as my cousin who was born too early struggle with vision problems. I cried with my friend Sara when her son, also born premature, struggled to breathe in the NICU.
Prematurity has touched all of us. We have stories to tell. Please tell us yours.