December 1st, 2010
Recognizing Prematurity Awareness Month
Four or five weeks may not seem like much time to most of us. It’s about the time it takes to break one bad habit or form a good one, receive a rebate coupon in the mail, or flip one page of a calendar. It’s the space between two car payments, rent checks or haircuts. But those few short weeks can make all the difference in a baby’s life – setting him up for a strong and healthy start or a lifetime of health and developmental challenges.
Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death in this country. In Kentucky, where one in seven babies is born too soon, the Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute has partnered with the March of Dimes and the state Department for Public Health on a three-year community-based program to prevent premature births. The initiative, Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, helps make sure that expectant mothers get the care and information they need to have a healthy pregnancy and give their children the best possible start in life.
Our initial results show that Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait is having a positive impact – admissions to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) have decreased, and the rate of premature births in Kentucky has dropped significantly.
Click here to read a blog post about the program on the Healthy Newborn Network. At the close of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, spread the word to your loved ones that healthy babies are worth the wait!