Each year, the March of Dimes observes World Prematurity Day. This is their 20th year raising awareness of prematurity.
In the U.S., 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely. The causes of prematurity are not yet clearly known, but the March of Dimes offers these guidelines:
Schedule a preconception checkup with your healthcare provider to make sure your body is ready for pregnancy.
- Get to a healthy weight before pregnancy. And get treatment for medical conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and thyroid problems.
- Wait at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again. Use birth control until you’re ready to get pregnant again.
- Protect yourself from infections. Get vaccinated, wash your hands often, and don’t eat raw meat, fish, or eggs. Have safe sex to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.
- Eat healthy foods and do something active every day. This can help reduce stress and help you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use harmful drugs. Ask your provider about programs that can help you quit. Tell your provider about any medicines you take, with or without a prescription.
- Go to all your prenatal care checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. Prenatal care helps your provider make sure you and your baby are healthy.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of preterm labor and what to do if you have even one. This won’t reduce your risk of preterm labor, but it can give you time to get treatment that may help stop your labor.
At Baby & Co. we celebrate babies, moms and families every day of the year. You can help by spreading the word about World Prematurity Day. Donate to the March of Dimes if you can and join us in sharing photos of your babies.
Here is a gallery of some of “our” Baby & Co. babies from the past year.
Here’s to a world of healthy babies.