Prematurity Awareness Month

premature baby

Photo by PrinceEdsmommy

The month of November is Prematurity Awareness Month, sponsored by the March of Dimes. I had no idea that the rate of premature births has been escalating over the past 20 years.

Being lucky enough to have delivered full-term healthy infants, I hadn't been paying attention and thought the problem was under control. How wrong I was.

Today one in eight babies are born before they should be. In nearly 40 percent of all cases, no one knows why, since premature birth can happen to any woman, even healthy ones.

But here are some of the other "known" reasons why more women give birth prematurely:

Infections and inflammation Even bacterial infections far away from the reproductive organs, such as periodontal disease, may contribute to premature delivery -- so pregnant ladies, get to the dentist!

Stress Felt by either the mother or the baby.

Bleeding Such as from placental abruption, when the placenta peels away from the uterine wall before delivery.

Stretching The uterus may become overstretched by the presence of multiples, amniotic fluid, or certain abnormalities.

Babies who are born premature are not simply small babies. They are often too sick or underdeveloped to leave the hospital and must stay in the NICU for weeks or months. Other concerns:

  • These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complications and death; however, most, eventually, will go home.
  • Even the best of care cannot always spare a premature baby from lasting disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing problems.
  • Half of all neurological disabilities in children are related to premature birth.

There are lots of places where moms of premature babies can turn for support on CafeMom:

Preemie Moms

2007 & 2008 Preemie Babies

Children with Special Needs Around the World

Are you the mother of a premature baby? How long did your little one have to stay in the hospital before coming home?


Related posts:

Kangaroo Care for Premature Babies

Mandatory Drug Testing for Moms of Preemies?

childbirth, health


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lilma... lilmamiz07

my preemie was born because i have Ulcerative Colitis which started at pregnancy.  she was born at 31 weeks only 9 weeks to go.   and she came out at home in my bathroom screaming.  she didn't need special care on a feeding tube.   since i was given prednisone (steroids for my inflamatory condition)  that developed her lungs a lot.  today she's 16 months and she don't look  like a preemie anymore.

amybu... amybuddy45

My baby was born at 36wks and 6 days so she was almost full-term but cosidered a preemie.  She was a good weight 5lbs 14.8 oz so she did not have to stay at the hospital or even go into the NICU.  She came early because my amniotic fluid levels got real low, she was breach so I had to have my 1st c-section-both of my other babies were vaginal and a few days late.  She is 3 1/2 months now, she surprises me everyday and is growing and doing things just great!

vanes... vanessa5470

We walked this past Saturday at the March of Dimes: March for Babies held in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. My husband, son and I all particpated and walked the 3miles.

I myself was a preemie, born at 8 months and only weighing 4lbs. I'm 23 years old and had my first baby in July and couldn't be healthier thanks to the NICU in Manhattan's Beth Isreal Hospital

Daynaof3 Daynaof3

My twins weren't what would be considered pre-term, but one of my girls did have a 3 week special care nursery stay. When she was born she had low blood sugar and trouble with body temp, so they kept her in there. Then she developed jaundice, had to be in an isolette for 1 1/2 days. Then she was having trouble with her suck/swallow/breath reflex(which is common in preemies, but I don't know how common in term babies) so she came home after she stopped having alarms, which turned out to be the week of her due date. I know that due dates can be wrong 2 weeks in either direction, but my babies were big girls. Alana(who had the stay) was born 7lbs. 1oz., her sister Alayna was on 5lbs. 13oz. and roomed and came home with me, no issues. I had GD so even at that weight they could have been earlier than I thought, they never did tell me either way so?

It could have also been the fact that I ended up with a completely unnecessary c-section after being pressured by a doctor and his timeline, stalled out at 7 cm into the induction that I wish I declined. But, hindsight is 20/20 so, I lived and learned.

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