Premature birth is a serious problem. It can effect entire families for a lifetime. Babies born too early are sometimes met with huge hurdles to overcome before they’re strong enough to survive on their own. Parents of preemies are thrown into a cycle of fear and waiting. The NICU is a terrifying place that becomes home to some. Whether you went into labor early on your own by surprise or you had a complicated pregnancy with known risks; a hospital stay is scary and fraught with stress.
My own daughter was born 10 weeks premature (you can read my full birth story here). At 30 weeks pregnant I went into labor and delivered a 3.5lb baby girl who was rushed to another hospital for their Level III NICU. There they used the knowledge from the March of Dimes research to keep my daughter healthy and alive when she was too young and too small to do it on her own.
This is why the March of Dimes is so special and so very important. They have a multitude of different programs but the one most meaningful and relevant to me personally is the March for Babies. March for Babies is a 5k walk/run that raises money and awareness to give hope to those born too soon and support community programs to help moms have full term pregnancies. There are walks all across the nation that help raise money to support research that is helping in the following ways:
- Fighting to prevent premature birth
- Developing treatments to cure vision problems that can come from premature birth
- New heart treatments for better survival rates
- Live saving newborn screening processes that require a mere drop of blood
- Lung treatments that save lives
- Folic acid education for fewer neural tube defects
Our very own Parenting section Editor – Melissa Menzel of Musings of a Twin Mama – was helped during her twin pregnancy by the strides in prenatal care made by the March of Dimes. Here’s what she has to say:
We were very fortunate – the boys did not require NICU care and I credit that to the excellent prenatal care I received throughout my pregnancy and for two weeks in the antepartum unit at the hospital.
To show our support to the programs that helped our family, and to honor the babies and families who have been affected by premature birth, we March for Babies. If you’re interested in joining a team or walking on your own – find your event here! While your local even may have passed you can help spread the word by sharing this article, and you can help fund the research by donating to the program here.
March of Dimes has its own blog – New Moms Need – which serves to give moms the information they need for healthy pregnancies and babies.