March of Dimes – Investing in the Future Health of Babies
Within 5 minutes of meeting me, you will no doubt understand that one of my greatest passions in life is being a mother. I have been blessed with 2 beautiful and healthy daughters and it’s fair to say that I didn’t fully comprehend all of the complications that could haunt a pregnancy and a newborn until after I had my children. There are so many pregnant mothers out there that share in that same lack of knowledge during pregnancy; and they don’t always have the same healthy outcomes.
There are more than a half million babies born premature in the United States every year. Each premature baby born, even just a few weeks early, is susceptible to severe health problems and lifelong disabilities. Aside from the health risks, the average cost of a preterm birth is astounding, which creates an even greater burden on these families. The average cost of a full-term healthy birth is $4,500, compared to a preterm birth average cost, which is $49,000. Sometimes prematurity cannot be avoided, but sometimes, with a little education, it can be avoided.
The March of Dimes is a phenomenal organization whose mission is to “help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.” The March of Dimes funds research that has led to milestones such as: conquering polio, implementing and enhancing newborn screenings, NICU family support, surfactant therapy and the list goes on and on.
Tracy Renton, March of Dimes Division Director, says, “Prematurity is the #1 killer of babies. We are so fortunate the March of Dimes is focusing on increasing awareness of the problem of prematurity and decreasing the rate of premature birth by expanding investments in research with the focus on prematurity and genetics. We are seeing progress everyday with the reduction of premature birth, but we’re not where we should be.” She adds, “When families come together to create awareness of prematurity, we become proactive in this fight. We hope everyone has a healthy birth. By walking in March for Babies, you’re investing in the future health of all babies.”
Each year the March of Dimes holds a fundraising walk called “March for Babies” to fund such research and in 2013 alone funded $5 million in national research grants in the state of Texas alone. The March for Babies in Amarillo, Lubbock and Midland will all be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014.
To learn more about the March of Dimes and how you can become involved, visit www.marchofdimes.com.