Too many born too soon


Children's Corporate Center illuminated in purple.

When expecting a baby, new parents usually plan for the baby to be born near the due date.  But, each year more than 12.9 million babies around the world are born too soon – before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff at Children’s Hospital cared for more than 300 infants diagnosed with prematurity last year.

Before I started my work with the March of Dimes, my only experience with prematurity was my cousin, who was born weighing less than four pounds and now is a healthy young adult who is more than 6 feet tall. Unfortunately, not all premature babies are so lucky. Prematurity can lead to lifelong health issues such as cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, vision and hearing loss and mental retardation. In fact, prematurity is the No. 1 cause of infant death.

Despite all of the research and medical advances of the past few decades, the rate of prematurity is rising. Children’s Corporate Center and the Children’s Clinics Building entrance is lighted in purple – the March of Dimes’ signature color – through all of  November to help raise awareness in our community. Check out the March of Dimes Web site to find out more about what you can do to make sure every baby has a healthy start.

~ Melissa Hages, March of Dimes NICU Family Support specialist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin


Too many born too soon — 1 Comment

  1. Children’s Research Institute had the privilege of hosting March of Dimes senior vice president and medical director, Alan Fleischman, MD, visit in April of 2009. His presentation can be viewed by going to the following link.

    Dr. Fleischman spoke about the staggering statistics and impact of premature births- and some of these premature births are preventable!

    I highly recommend his presentation.