Posts Tagged ‘march of dimes’

Stacey D. Stewart speaks to Congress about maternal death

Friday, September 28th, 2018

March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart spoke before the U.S. Congress yesterday (September 27, 2018). She urged lawmakers to pass legislation to help prevent the death of women from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. The United States is facing a maternal health crisis, making our country one of the most dangerous places in the developed world to give birth.

Stewart started her testimony by showing the members of Congress a hospital receiving blanket used to wrap a baby after birth. She said, “any of us with children will never forget that first moment when the doctor placed our precious baby boy or girl in our arms, wrapped warmly in one of these blankets.” Then she explained that more than 700 times a year a mother dies, leaving a baby without a mom to hold him.  Each year in the United States, 700 families face the devastating experience of losing a mom due to a pregnancy-related death.

Stewart also talked about another alarming problem affecting even more families and moms. In the United States every year, more than 50,000 women have a near-miss (nearly die) from severe complications from labor and childbirth. The emotional and disturbing effects of these experiences distress women and families sometimes for a lifetime.

In the United States almost every measure of mom and baby health and wellbeing is getting worse:

Stewart also highlighted how racial disparities are affecting Black women in our country. “Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women— a truly shocking and appalling disparity,” she said.

We all must address this public health crisis. Help us lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. Join the March of Dimes advocacy network and take action now to support legislation that can help protect all moms and babies. And learn about the signs and symptoms of health complications after birth to help you know when something’s not right. Knowing what to look for can help save your life. And sharing this information may help save others.

March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart urges Congress to take action to save moms’ lives

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Each year in the United States 700 women die from pregnancy-related causes and more than 50,000 have a near-miss (nearly-die) from severe complications from labor and childbirth. The U.S. is one of the most dangerous places in the developing world to give birth. This is simply unacceptable.

March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart speaks to the House of Representatives about the maternal and child health crisis happening in our country. Stewart testifies about the urgent need for legislation that can help save moms’ lives. Watch now!

Premature birth rate in U.S. increases for second year

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

For the second year in a row, the rate of preterm birth in the United States has increased. The premature birth rate went up from 9.6 percent of births in 2015 to 9.8 percent in 2016, giving the U.S. a “C” on the March of Dimes 2017 Premature Birth Report Card. The report card also shows that across the U.S., black women are 49 percent more likely to deliver preterm compared to white women. American Indian/Alaska Native women are 18 percent more likely to deliver preterm compared to white women.

More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. each year. An additional 8,000 babies were born prematurely in 2016 due to the increase in the preterm birth rate. Premature babies may have more health problems or need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born on time. Some of these babies also face long-term health effects, like problems that affect the brain, lungs, hearing or vision.

The Premature Birth Report Card provides rates and grades for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Preterm birth rates worsened in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The rates stayed the same in three states (AL, AZ, WA), and improved in only four states (NE, NH, PA, WY).

  • Four states earned an “A” on the 2017 Premature Birth Report Card;
  • 13 states received a “B”;
  • 18 states got a “C”;
  • 11 states and the District of Columbia got a “D”;
  • 4 states and Puerto Rico received an “F.”

Among the 100 cities in the U.S. with the greatest number of births (latest data is for 2015), Irvine, California had the lowest rate of preterm birth (5.8 percent), and Cleveland, Ohio had the highest preterm birth rate (14.9 percent).

This year’s Report Card also includes a preterm birth disparity ratio. This measures the disparities in preterm birth rates across racial/ethnic groups in a geographic area. The disparity ratio shows that the differences in preterm birth rates among racial/ethnic groups are getting worse nationally and no state has shown improvement since the measurements started being recorded in 2010-2012.

There is no single cause of premature birth and therefore there is no simple solution. However, things like expanding research, increasing education, strengthening advocacy, and improving clinical care and community programs can all help. The March of Dimes continues to work towards giving every mom the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy and every baby the chance to survive and thrive.

If you want to learn how you can help increase awareness of the serious problem of premature birth throughout November, check out our blog post.

FDA approves folic acid fortification of corn masa — a great day for babies!

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Hispanic mom and babyToday the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will allow corn masa flour to be fortified with folic acid. This announcement is a victory for America’s mothers and babies, and caps more than 20 years of work by the March of Dimes to prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (NTDs).

Scientists have long recognized that folic acid can prevent NTDs.  After wheat flour and related products were required to be fortified with folic acid in 1996, the incidence of neural tube defects dropped by about one-third.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates folic acid fortification in the U.S. has saved about 1,300 babies each year from these fatal or devastating birth defects – a total of 26,000 babies born healthy since folic acid fortification began in 1998.

But corn masa flour wasn’t part of that rule, and that may be part of the reason that neural tube defect rates have remained higher among Hispanic babies. Foods like tortillas, tamales, pupusas, chips and taco shells can now be fortified. Adding folic acid to corn masa will help to prevent neural tube defects.

The March of Dimes looks forward to the prevention of even more NTDs in the U.S. — giving more babies a chance for a full, happy life, and giving their families the joy of a healthy child.

Please join us in thanking the FDA by tweeting to @US_FDA or posting on their Facebook wall with messages like these:

Join our Advocacy Action Center for updates about how you can make a difference for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

380,000 babies born too soon in the U.S.

Friday, November 6th, 2015

WPD-2015-Report-Card-MapThis year, the United States received a “C” on the March of Dimes 2015 Premature Birth Report Card. Although the overall rate of preterm birth dropped to 9.6% in 2014, 1 in 10 babies in the U.S. is born too soon. And despite the decline, the U.S. preterm birth rate continues to rank among the worst of high-income countries.

Four states received an “A” on the report card—Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Vermont. All of these states had a preterm birth rate of 8.1% or less. Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico all received an “F.” Their preterm birth rates were 11.5% or greater.

For the first time this year, in addition to grading states, the report card graded cities and counties around the nation. This additional analysis showed persistent racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities. According to the report card, Portland, Oregon has the best preterm birth rate at 7.2%, earning that city an “A” on the report card. However, Shreveport, Louisiana has the worst preterm birth rate and received an “F” for its 18.8% rate.

Check out the grade for your state and the top 100 cities with the most births nationwide.

The March of Dimes has set a new goal to lower the national preterm birth rate to 8.1% by 2020 and to 5.5% by 2030. Reaching the 2020 goal of 8.1% will mean that 210,000 fewer babies will be born preterm and achieving the 2030 goal will mean 1.3 million fewer babies will be born preterm saving about $70 billion.

“This aggressive goal can be achieved by increasing best practices in preconception and pregnancy care, wider use of proven interventions such as progesterone and birth spacing, and funding discovery research through our research centers,” says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

Continued research to identify new medical advances to prevent preterm birth is necessary in order to reach the new goal. The March of Dimes supports a nationwide network of five cutting-edge, team-based research centers seeking to find the unknown causes of preterm birth and ways to prevent it.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day (WPD) will be observed on November 17 by the March of Dimes and partner organizations worldwide. Activities in honor of WPD are expected in about 100 countries. Join us for Twitter chats throughout the month and the 24-hour #worldprematurityday Buzzday on November 17th.

Celebration of Babies

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Today is the star-studded March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, a Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. The Celebration of Babies brings together and recognizes celebrities and prominent individuals in the entertainment community who are pregnant or celebrating the recent birth of a child, and who are role models for the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies by helping moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies.

Actor and producer Reese Witherspoon will receive the 2012 March of Dimes Grace Kelly Award, which recognizes role-model celebrity parents who share the March of Dimes commitment to healthy pregnancies and families. Cyma Zarghami, President of Nickelodeon Group, will be honored as the Inspiring Woman of the Year for her accomplishments as a leader in the entertainment industry and as a dedicated mother to her three sons, Liam, Wyatt and Ethan. Medical doctor Bryan Oshiro will receive the 2012 Elaine Whitelaw Volunteer Service Award. Oshiro is Vice-Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Director of the Perinatal Institute at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. Oshiro’s work with March of Dimes has resulted in groundbreaking health guidelines for hospitals and obstetricians.

March of Dimes continues our recognition of expecting and new parents by honoring the 2012 Celebration of Babies Stork Club. Stork Club members are entertainment industry leaders who are expecting a baby, or have had baby this past year. Members include Amanda Anka and Jason Bateman, Drew Barrymore and Will Koppelman, Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green and others.

March of Dimes has long-standing ties to the Hollywood community. Since its founding in 1938, supporters over the years have included Eddie Cantor, Grace Kelly, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bill Cosby, to name a few.

Lucy and Desi for the March of Dimes

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

In honor of the March of Dimes Youtube account passing 6 million video views this week, here’s a look back at one of the first videos we ever posted.

Support MOD while you shop

Friday, August 17th, 2012

macys-shop-for-a-cause1This is a great deal for all back to school shoppers, or for just those of us who are looking to buy something fun and new. Seriously, it’s a 25% savings to you and it helps the March of Dimes, too.

Join the March of Dimes and Macy’s as we Shop For A Cause on August 25th. As the exclusive in-store beneficiary of this annual Macy’s event, March of Dimes will receive 100% of your donation when you purchase a savings pass in-store for $5. Not only will you be getting some of the best savings of the year, but you’ll be supporting moms and babies right in your own community.

The best part? Spread the love by sharing the news with your friends and family so they can join in on the savings, too! They can join our event or visit www.marchofdimes.org/shopforacause and we’ll send an email reminder so they don’t forget to Shop For A Cause on August 25th.

Check it out!