The March of Dimes is on a mission to reduce the number of infants born preterm. According to the Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, more than 15 million infants are born before their due dates. That translates to about one out of every 10 births. As many as one million of these preterm babies will die before they ever really start living. Experts agree that up to 750,000 of those deaths could be prevented if additional care was available to pregnant women and premature infants around the world.
We often think of the United States as being more advanced than other countries, in terms of medical care, prevention, and treatment, but that’s not the case when it comes to preterm births. According to the Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, the United States has the same preterm birth rate as India, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, and more than 20 countries in northern and southern Africa. We need to make changes as a country and push for changes as a world to reduce the number of preterm births and that is exactly what the March of Dimes and the World Health Organization plan on doing.
Full Term is 39 Weeks Plus and We Can Help
As an obstetrician I can help change the rate of preterm births worldwide by supporting the four Is – Inform, Invest, Innovate and Implement.
- Inform – Expand awareness of preterm birth risks and solutions.
- Invest – Advocate for worldwide awareness about preterm rates and proper medical care for preterm infants.
- Innovate – Support research into new treatments and prevention tactics to reduce the number of preterm births.
- Implement – Educate my patients on the risk factors for preterm birth and support families affected by preterm delivery.
How Can You Support the March of Dimes and the Full Term Campaign?
- World Prematurity Day is November 17 – get out and get talking about premature births and the livesthat could be saved with advanced medical care.
- Donate to the March of Dimes – the March of Dimes takes donations to help support families with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
- Talk, talk, talk – spreading the word and increasing awareness is all about talking. Start a discussion on the subject of preterm birth on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or in your local coffee shop.
If more people know there is a problem – more people will be willing to help.