Prematurity Awareness Month

Prematurity Awareness Month

In 2003, the March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Campaign to address the crisis and help families have full-term, healthy babies. Premature birth occurs when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This can cause babies to have more health problems and cause a longer stay in the hospital. According to the March of Dimes, each year in the United States 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely.

What effect can prematurity have on a child? Studies have shown that premature babies are at an increased risk for learning and behavior problems which may lead to having a more difficult time at school. According to the March of Dimes, in the last few weeks of pregnancy, a baby’s brain is still developing and growing, and only weighs only two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 to 40 weeks. This is why if your pregnancy is healthy, it’s best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks. This gives your baby’s brain and other organs the time they need to develop before birth.

Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® is a comprehensive initiative by the March of Dimes to prevent preventable preterm birth, with a focus on reducing elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation. It is important to wait until at least 39 weeks if possible because major organs like the brain, liver, and lungs are still growing. Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® has a ton of information on why it is important to wait, risks of premature birth, facts and stats about preterm birth, toolkits for parents, and much more. Here is the link to the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® page

For more information on the March of Dimes, their mission, and how to get involved click on the link below:


-Matthew D’Antonio, PT, DPT

Pediatric Physical Therapist

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