November is March of Dimes’ Prematurity Awareness Month to both honor the parents who have lost a child born as well as provide people with an understanding of premature babies.
In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely. And worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year. This is a major statistic because premature birth accounted for 35% of all infant deaths in 2009.1
What you can do for yourself
Though premature birth can’t always be fully prevented, there are several factors that can help ensure a healthy birth:
- Avoid all alcohol and drugs during and before your pregnancy.
- If you are planning a baby, meet with your doctor to discuss prenatal care.
- As you are pregnant, stay in communication with your doctor about your diet, prenatal vitamins, and any health conditions that can affect your pregnancy.
What you can do for others
You can help prevent premature births and help the parents of premature babies by supporting your local March of Dimes and infant care organizations. You can also help educate people about Premature Babies by spreading the word, and discussing the leading factors of premature births with your friends and family.