For the entire month of November, the March of Dimes will work to help the nation to focus it’s attention on premature births.

The March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Awareness Campaign in 2003 and since then they have made significant strides in raising awareness about premature births and in working towards reducing the rate of premature births but there is still a long way to go.

When babies are premature, their parents often are not prepared with basic supplies during their hospitalization. The stress and financial burden of having a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit also can make it difficult to provide the items.

During November, Methodist Women’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff is hosting an ongoing baby shower for those in need. Donations of onesies, booties/socks, infant sleepers, infant mittens, baby story books and blankets are requested.

Donations of new or gently used items can be placed in baskets at Methodist Hospital, Methodist Women’s Hospital and Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.

Learn more about Prematurity Awarenss Month:

The Prematurity Awareness Month kicks off on Nov. 13 with the release of the 2012 Premature Birth Report Card.

Nov. 17 marks World Prematurity Day, and the March of Dimes and partner organizations worldwide are asking everyone to help spread the word on the serious problem of preterm birth.

Recent news reports that the premature birth rate is down slightly to 12.2 percent but still quite far from the March of Dimes goal of 9.6 percent by the year 2020.

How you can help:

Learn the causes and who is at risk for premature births, so you can educate not only yourself, but your friends, families, coworkers, and anyone who will listen.

Learn that you can reduce your risks by getting prenatal care, spreading out your births by 18 months (if your first was a preemie), and talk to your doctor about progesterone supplements.

Share this on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail the link to this article, so other people know it’s Prematurity Awareness Month or about World Prematurity Day on November 17th. You can also like and share the World Prematurity Facebook Page.

Read more on the National Institute of Health’s site about premature births including the latest research and news about babies born prematurely.

Find out how you or your community can initiate a Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait campaign.

How will you help to raise awareness about premature births?

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