Posts Tagged ‘Prematurity Awareness Day’

On an average DAY in the United States…

Monday, November 16th, 2015

10,926     babies are born
1,045       babies are born preterm (before 37 weeks gestation)
874          babies are born low birthweight (under 5 1/2 pounds)
329          babies are born with a birth defect
174          babies are born very preterm (before 32 weeks gestation)
153          babies are born very low birthweight (under 3 1/3 pounds)
64            babies die before their first birthday

Yes – these numbers are talking about only ONE day!

Numbers don’t lie. And these numbers are way too high. In the U.S., 380,000 babies are born too soon every year. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born prematurely each year.

Some babies will pull through without issues or problems, due to medical advances. But there are so many who won’t. Losing a baby due to premature birth is nothing short of a tragedy. And, the enormous stress and strain of having a child with a disability as a result of prematurity, is lifelong.

This is why the March of Dimes is working so hard to solve this complex problem.

We’re getting resultsNICU doctor and baby resized

After decades of increases, the rate of premature birth in the United States has now been on a steady decline for the last several years.

This decline – to 9.6% today (down from 12.8% in 2006) – means 231,000 fewer babies  have been born premature. That’s significant! It also has saved our nation billions of dollars in excess health care costs. But we still have more work to do. Our goal is to lower the preterm birth rate to 5.5% in 2030. When we reach this goal, it will mean that 1.3 million fewer babies will have been born preterm.

You can help

November 17th marks World Prematurity Day, and the March of Dimes and our partner organizations worldwide are asking everyone to help spread the word on the serious problem of premature birth.

Join the 24-hour #worldprematurityday Buzzday.

Join one of our Twitter chats.

Don’t be silent. Every voice counts. Together we can increase awareness and help end premature birth.

Our babies deserve it.

Preemie chats this weekend

Friday, November 15th, 2013


This is Prematurity Awareness weekend and we’ll be involved in chats on both Saturday and Sunday. Join us on Saturday as part of the day-long World Prematurity Network relay. We will be talking about parenting in the NICU at 1 PM ET. Make sure you use #worldprematurityday to fully engage.

On Sunday, which is actually World Prematurity Day, we will be discussing and sharing birth stories. Please come share your unique story with us throughout the afternoon. We can learn a lot from each other. Use #birthstories to be included in the thread.

We look forward to seeing you with us.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, November 19th, 2010

To all you wonderful women and men who posted about premature birth on Prematurity Awareness Day, we can’t thank you enough. We have read incredible tales involving bedrest, medical interventions, loss, success, challenges of all kind before and after delivery enveloped in fear, doubt, misplaced guilt, hope, faith and gratitude. 

Your honest and brave posts touch us deeply. Your focus on spreading the word about the seriousness of premature birth and the need to educate women on the signs of preterm labor inspire us.  Your willingness to Fight for Preemies so that one day our babies won’t have to strengthens our resolve.

The March of Dimes will continue to fight for all babies: sick, healthy, early, late, tiny or full-size.  We greatly appreciate your help and support.

Premature Birth Report Card

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Eight states earned a better grade on the 2010 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card and 32 others and the District of Columbia saw their preterm birth rates improve.

Following three decades of increases, in 2008 the nation saw the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, a 4 percent drop from 2006. The 2008 preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent, from the 2006 final rate of 12.8 percent. The March of Dimes says 79 percent of the decline was among babies born just a few weeks too soon.

Overall, the United States received a “D” on the report card, when national preterm birth rates are measured against the Healthy People 2010 goals.  The United States has a high rate of preterm birth compared to top scoring states and, notably, most industrialized countries.

On the 2010 report card, 17 states earned a “C,” 20 received a “D,” and 13 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico failed. However, most states saw improvement in at least one of the three contributing factors the March of Dimes tracks.

·                    28 states and Puerto Rico reduced the percentage of women of childbearing age who smoke;

·                    17 states and the District of Columbia reduced the percentage of uninsured women of childbearing age;

·                    37 states and Puerto Rico lowered the late preterm birth rate, infants born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation.

Curious to find out how your state did?  I was.

United States Scores a big fat “D”

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day, and I really wish I had some happy news to report. We just released the second annual Premature Birth Report Card and America scored a depressing “D.” What that means is that every year, we’re failing more than half a million babies.


Each state received its own report card, by the way, and you can find your state’s grade here. No state earned an “A,” and Vermont was the only state that received a “B.” Even though seven states improved their grade, I’m sure you’ll agree we have a long way to go.


You can help in a big way today by blogging about premature birth. And updating your Facebook and Twitter status.  

Fight for Preemies

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

ambassador-family1You never know how many red cars are on the road until you’re driving one yourself.  My darling husband’s colleague told him that the day after our son was born six years ago and the truth of those words have stuck with us ever since.


Birth is supposed to be kisses and hugs.  Family celebrating together.  Harmony.  But for my family it was complete chaos.  Anguish.  Doom.  Tubes and wires, bells and needles – a baby born much too soon struggling to survive in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  When I was only 23-weeks pregnant, I went into pre-term labor and was forced to deliver our Joshua.  He weighed one pound and eleven ounces and was very sick.  Doctors weren’t sure if he would make it.

My life had always been according to plan.  One minute I was having a healthy pregnancy, the next minute I was in pre-term labor.  All of a sudden I was in uncharted territory, completely out of my element, and never more terrified in my life.  I couldn’t grasp how the perfectionist in me failed to produce a perfect baby and a perfect family.  In an instant my life was turned upside down.  I woke up on a roller coaster and it was anything but a thrill ride.  My emotions went from terror – seeing my son for the first time in an isolette, a tiny protoplasmic being through a maze of tubes and tape; to remorse – how could I let this happen?  To sorrow – what does the future hold for my son?  As soon as I finally let go of the shock and denial and accepted Joshua’s situation my maternal instinct kicked in and my deep-rooted family values emerged.  I began a mission – together with my husband – we felt like we had to battle the impossible but we went into full on battle mode and fought harder than we ever fought before.  We wanted our son to have every chance in life.

These days our society is so busy.  Life is oftentimes so trivial.  Many people are just trying to make it through the day.  Our story could happen to any family.  In fact it does.  And that’s when we realized how many other red cars are on the road.

My experience the past six years has been a fascinating study of women and their steadfast role in their family.  Preemie moms are some of the strongest women I know in our society today.  To have to endure something as frightening as your baby faltering on the brink of survival and to watch all the pain he has to suffer to stay alive is a true test.  But my Joshua taught me so much and wow did he enrich not just my life but so many others, too.  And he continues to do so every single day.  I learned how to cope.  I learned how strength oftentimes comes from the unexpected and how in times of great fear you must do the thing you cannot do.  I learned how everything is a state of mind and I can get there by believing that nothing is impossible. 

Follow us as we travel around the country fighting for preemies at Josh Fights for Preemies blog.

By: Melanie Hoffman, 2010 Ambassador Mom