Why Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is going purple for prematurity awareness

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Support Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This program has brought support and information to thousands of families impacted by prematurity and birth defects. …Continue reading this post

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