The preterm birth rate in the United States is on the rise for the third year in a row, a trend signaling an urgent health crisis for moms and babies. March of Dimes, the nonprofit organization leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies, calls on families, partners and advocates to take action during Prematurity Awareness Month this November to raise awareness of and support for the 15 million babies affected by preterm birth each year around the world.
Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the largest contributor to infant death in the United States and around the world. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.
On November 1, March of Dimes will release its annual Premature Birth Report Card, which grades all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, plus cities and counties around the nation, on their rates of preterm birth. The Report Card also reveals racial, ethnic and geographic disparities on preterm birth within states, raising awareness of the challenges March of Dimes and its partners are working to overcome.
November 17 will be recognized around the globe as the 8th annual World Prematurity Day, empowering families, partners and friends to post messages of support and awareness across social media platforms. Socially-minded advocates and fundraisers can raise awareness of the preterm birth crisis, ignite action and celebrate families by posting messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, sharing images of strong babies and tagging @marchofdimes with #WorldPrematurityDay. For more information, visit marchofdimes.org