march for babies blog
Today, November 17th, is Prematurity Awareness Day. Today we release our Premature Birth Report Card, an interactive map that shows how your state compares to other states and to the country as a whole.
Eight states earned a better grade on the 2010 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card and 32 others and the District of Columbia saw their preterm birth rates improve.
Following three decades of increases, in 2008 the nation saw the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, a 4 percent drop from 2006. The 2008 preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent, from the 2006 final rate of 12.8 percent. The March of Dimes says 79 percent of the decline was among babies born just a few weeks too soon.
Overall, the United States received a “D” on the report card, when national preterm birth rates are measured against the Healthy People 2010 goals. The United States has a high rate of preterm birth compared to top scoring states and, notably, most industrialized countries.
Find out more and find out what you can do by visiting our Prematurity Awareness Web site at MarchofDimes.com/Fight.
Samantha Harris hosted the 5th Annual March of Dimes Celebration of Babies luncheon at the Four Season Hotel in Los Angeles on November 13, 2010. The event is sponsored by the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.
Celebration of Babies recognizes prominent individuals, including Hollywood moms and dads, who are celebrating the birth of their children and who are role models for March of Dimes’ commitment to improving the health of babies. The 2010 March of Dimes’ Celebrity Volunteers, or “Stork Club,” includes Sarah Chalke & Jamie Afifi, Ali Larter & Hayes MacArthur, Joey & Chandie Lawrence, Tiffani Thiessen & Brady Smith, Jenna Elfman & Bodhi Elfman, Rock Harper & Tamara Harper, Lisa Leslie & Michael Locke, and Maria Quiban & Sean Whitesell. The “Stork Club” members are individuals who have had or are expecting babies in 2010.
Prior Stork Club members include, Nicole Richie & Joel Madden, Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott, Nancy O’Dell, Julie Bowen & Scott Phillips, Nicole Sullivan & Jason Packham, Alimi & Dahn Ballard, Kellie Martin & Keith Christian, Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Wilkerson, Lauren Sanchez & Patrick Whitesell, Hank Azaria and Katie Wright, and Diane Farr & Seung Chung.
In attendance were Storks Club Celebrity Volunteers Sarah Chalke & Jamie Afifi, Joey & Chandie Lawrence, Chef Rock Harper & Tamara Harper, Lisa Leslie & Michael Locke, and Maria Quiban & Sean Whitesell. Also in attendance were Julie Bowen, Laila Ali, Sean Patrick Thomas & Aonika Laurent Thomas, Kelly Price, Nicole Sullivan, Kellie Martin & Keith Christian, Marisa Coughlan, Ian and Erin Ziering, Kent King, Minae Noji, and Cleon King. Joshua Hoffman, age 7, March of Dimes 2010 National Ambassador, told the crowd his own story of surviving a premature birth. Go to https://public.me.com/endusermod for video clips from the red carpet and luncheon.
The Celebration of Babies luncheon commemorates March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Month, a time when the organization galvanizes the nation around the serious problem of preterm birth.
Premature birth is the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk for lifelong disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, lung problems, and vision and hearing loss. March of Dimes provides more information about premature birth at marchofdimes.com/fight.
Every year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States. The rate of premature birth has risen by 30 percent since 1981.
Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death worldwide. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities. Premature birth costs society more than $26 billion a year.
In 2003, the Prematurity Campaign was launched to address the crisis and help families have healthy, full-term babies. In 2008, the March of Dimes Board of Trustees extended the Prematurity Campaign globally, and in 2009 the March of Dimes released the first global estimates showing the serious toll of preterm birth worldwide.
The March of Dimes works different channels of influence to reduce premature birth rates. One way is to raise public awareness of the serious issue and to invest in education of moms-to-be and health care providers. We also support medical advances and knowledge. Every year, new promising research studies are funded through our Prematurity Research Initiative. Advocacy efforts have opened the door to more federal funding for prematurity research and education.
The campaign is already showing signs of success, including a recent 3 percent decline in the premature birth rate. With more than 1,400 babies born too soon every day, much work is still to be done.
Find out how you can get involved by visiting MarchofDimes.com/Fight.