Every year almost 550,000 babies in the United States is born premature, that’s 1 baby for every 8 babies born. That is too many. Today, November 17th, is National Prematurity Awareness Day. Today is about giving a voice to those tiny lives who don’t have a voice of their own. Today is about showing our support for the parents of those tiny babies born too soon. Today is about supporting an organization that is trying to end prematurity, the March of Dimes.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death among newborns worldwide and results in $26 billion in health care costs each year here in the United States alone. The goal of the March of Dimes is to help each pregnant woman have a healthy pregnancy and help each family welcome a healthy, full-term baby at the end of that healthy pregnancy. That may seem like a lofty goal, but it is a goal that has resulted in a recent decline in premature births by more than 3%. It is a goal I am proud to support.
As the mother of a little girl who was born full term I know the joy and relief that can come from knowing your baby is healthy. Every mother should know that feeling. I have also seen the pain, frustration, helplessness and agony that can come from watching your child fight for their life from the confines of a NICU. My youngest brother was born 8 weeks premature. Today he is a healthy 19 year old, but in those early days it was scary. No parent should have to stand back and wonder if their child will make it, or worse watch as their baby loses their fight for life.
I support the March of Dimes and I fight for preemies on behalf of children like Maddie Spohr who sadly and heartbreakingly lost their fight, and on behalf of children like my brother who thankfully won theirs. Each child deserves a fighting chance and I want to help give them that.
Please, if you can, support the March of Dimes in their efforts and show those tiny babies fighting for their lives that they are not fighting alone.