MomsGetReal™.com is taking a break from the Stress Less Holiday Event to discuss something that makes the holidays worthwhile: our babies. November is Preemie Awareness Month, and the March of Dimes is making extraordinary efforts to reduce preemie births, provide education and support to families, and to save the lives of children. Our own Mama Posse founding member Wanda Morrissey, is an experienced preemie mom who shared her story with us last year.

November is Preemie Awareness Month with the 17th being dedicated to raising awareness. According to the March of Dimes, one in eight babies born in the United States is premature. The rate of premature birth in America is higher than that of most other developed nations.

Most concerning is that the preemie birth rate in the U.S. has actually risen in the last quarter century by more than 30%. Babies born too soon face huge health challenges, first to survive, then throughout life. It is the primary cause of death in infants.

In 2003, the March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Campaign, which grows each year. The March of Dimes funds research and supports and recommends legislation that can make a difference. This year, the March of Dimes launched the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® program to help prevent preterm birth. Their goal is to help expecting moms wait at least 39 weeks to give birth.

Prematurity Awareness Month kicked off November 1 with the release of the 2011 Premature Birth Report Card and November 17 will be World Prematurity Day.

You can make a difference!! Donate money to support families and NICUs, join a March of Dimes fundraising team, or volunteer your time to help.

Resources for Parents

These are some of the more well known websites. Typing preemie into a search engine will bring up others. Support staff at your hospital will also be able to provide you with a list of resources.