Posted by: Nancy Brown | November 9, 2006

November is Prematurity awareness Month

This November is National Prematurity awareness month.  I may offend a lot of people but since this is my blog then good for me.  The March of Dimes is one of the biggest collectors of donations for preemies. Allthough I do agree with people donating to preemies or to help familes of preemies ( goodness knows they need it) I don’t agree that they should do it through the March of Dimes. 

Here is my reasoning behind my thoughts.(There is a reason to the madness.)  After I gave birth to my sweet little boy I was given a list of resources in my area that would help me as I undertook my incredibly emotional roller coaster. One of the names on the list was the local March of Dimes (MOD). So I went down my list in serious need of something. I was not looking for like financial support more of a support group. Getting someway I could talk to someone who had been there. When I called them and asked what exactly they had for support or help of families I was frankly and rudely put they were for research purposes only and that they had nothing like a support group. That wasn’t what they were in business for.

Incredibly offended I was sad. I have taken it upon myself to NEVER EVER support one dime to that charity. Tyler was featured in the Emery County Progress and also the Salt Lake Tribune during the month of November to help promote the National prematurity awareness month but the march of dimes never even contacted us but was more than happy to list OUR son as a link to promote their charity. Not to mention they never asked for permission.

So… I although I have a preemie I don’t like the March of Dimes I do feel that somthing should be done to educate others and to also HELP families of preemies and also families of NICU babies.

Prematurity is a big problem in the United States and around the world.  1 in 8 Babies born this year will be preemies. Babies born before 35 week gestation face a life long struggle. Many have life long health issues ranging from hearing loss, vison loss to extreme Cerbral Palsy. Many are born not breathing and require extensive care for many months.

In nearly half of premature births, the cause is unknown.  However, researchers have made some progress in learning the causes of prematurity. Studies suggest that there may be four main routes leading to premature labor.

  1. Maternal or fetal stress.  Chronic psychosocial stress in the mother or physical stress (such as insufficient blood flow from the placenta) in the fetus appears to result in production of a stress-related hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH).  CRH may stimulate production of a cascade of other hormones that trigger uterine contractions and premature delivery.
  2. Infections.  Studies suggest that premature labor is often triggered by the body’s natural immune response to certain bacterial infections, such as those involving the genital and urinary tracts and fetal membranes.  Even infections far away from the reproductive organs, such as periodontal disease, may contribute to premature delivery.
  3. Bleeding.  The uterus may bleed, due to problems such as placental abruption (when the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall prior to delivery).  Bleeding triggers the release of various proteins involved in blood clotting, which also appear to stimulate uterine contractions.
  4. Stretching.  The uterus may become overstretched by the presence of two or more babies, excessive amounts of amniotic fluid, or uterine or placental abnormalities, leading to release of chemicals that stimulate uterine contractions.

There are many factors that make you high risk for your next pregnancy. I am at high risk so I am taking all precautions that I can to not deliver early. I hope this helps people undertstand. It is a scary thing to go through. I hope that people will find a way to help parents of NICU babies and not just the research….




  1. This was a great post, Nancy.

    I have little to no experience in the micro/premmie world. Just a few friends from the NICU, and I do know a bit about their tales.

    Thank you for letting me know about the March of Dimes. It is always illing, to find out that entities are not what we think they are.

    I have run into that a fair bit.

    These pictures of Ty are precious. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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