1 in 8.
That is how many babies are born prematurely. It equates to more than 500,000 babies a year in the United States alone- and the rate is increasing.
A premature birth is a birth that happens before 37 weeks gestation. Premature babies face a long list of health complications in their first months and years, and are at an increased risk of lasting issues such as mental retardation, learning disabilities, cerebral problems, lung issues, and vision and hearing loss. Recent studies present a possible link between premature birth and autism.
The causes of preterm birth are not fully understood, but in some cases it can be prevented.
March of Dimes is an organization you’re probably familiar with. They help fund research to better understand the answers to some of the complex questions surrounding preterm birth, advocate Congress when necessary, and help educate women about what they can do to prevent it. The results of their research have lead to things such as the polio vaccine and have resulted in 13 scientists receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Their biggest fundraiser is a one-mile walk the do around the country called March for Babies.
You might remember last June when I told you about my friends who lost their precious son at 28 weeks. That is how far along I am now. They have formed a team to walk in his memory, and the husband and I couldn’t be more honored to join them- hopefully while pushing along a happy, healthy, 4-week old (full term) Nugget. Would you consider supporting our team? Just click on that link and scroll down to the bottom. Select the person you want to donate towards- you’ll see my name, the husband’s name, and some of the other team member’s names. Once you go to their page, there is a box on the right where you can make a donation in any amount towards that person’s goal. All donations are secure and tax-deductible, and your company might even have a matching gifts program.
If you don’t, you’re not really saying no to me or to a random blog, you’re saying no to premature babies. And what kind of person says no to premature babies? Just saying.