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Today is World Prematurity Day

Did you know that 13 million babies are born too soon each year? 12 million preemies survive, some with life-long health problems, but one million don’t. That’s why the March of Dimes is declaring today World Prematurity Day.

I went into labor with my son at 25 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. Thanks to research supported by the March of Dimes, medication and bedrest helped me hang on until 33 weeks, when my water broke. I was induced a week later. My little 34-weeker (that’s him in the photo), who spent a week in the NICU, is now a strapping, curious, and totally healthy two-year-old. I think often of what might have been, and I am so grateful.
Plus: Which State Has the Most Pre-Term Births?

What can you do to prevent pre-term birth? While some conditions (like cervical problems) can’t be prevented, there are things you can do to minimize your risk:

  • Gain only the recommended 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy if you were at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy
  • Get regular prenatal care
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
  • Talk to your doctor about any medications or herbal remedies you’re taking
  • Do your best to reduce stress
  • If you’re in an abusive relationship, please talk to someone about it and get the help you need.

The March of Dimes also now recommends against scheduled c-sections or non-medical inductions before 39 weeks.

Leave a comment if you delivered a preemie and tell us your story!