November Is Prematurity Awareness Month
Every year, approximately 400,000 babies in the US and 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely. These babies are born before the 37th week of pregnancy, which disrupts their normal development and can potentially lead to a wide range of health problems and, in some cases, death for the mother, the child, or both. The earlier the baby is born, the higher the risk of complications and mortality.
In spite of the innovations of modern medicine, premature birth is still a serious health crisis in the US. As of 2018, the preterm birth rate in the US had risen for the fourth year in a row. November is Prematurity Awareness Month, which gives us a chance not only to shed light on this global health issue but also to get involved and do something to help. Here are some ways that you can get involved.
Join the #BlanketChange Movement
Organized by the March of Dimes, the #BlanketChange movement’s primary initiative is to urge legislators and politicians to create and push policies that improve and protect the health of American mothers and infants. The main philosophies of the movement are focused on eradicating healthcare disparities, creating healthcare equity, making health programs more accessible to more people, and pushing for research that would improve research initiatives and prevention.
You can take action with the #BlanketChange movement whether you’re an individual advocate or part of an organization. Some ideas for individuals include calling on Congress to improve mother and baby health or using the hashtag #BlanketChange to tag friends and spread awareness about the movement. You can also send an email to your local officials using #BlanketChange’s convenient platform.
If you are part of an organization or are a policymaker or political candidate, you can help by signing up to be a #BlanketChange supporter. Just like individual advocates, you can use social media to spread the word – #BlanketChange provides organizers with a social media toolkit to help you spread the message and urge your stakeholders to also get involved.
Give a Gift or Donation
For those who are able to make a contribution to the cause, there are a few ways that you can do so. If you want to make a donation, you can choose either a one-time or monthly contribution. You can add a personal touch by dedicating your donation in honor of someone you know.
Another option is to shop in the March of Dimes gift shop and purchase a gift that shows your support for healthy babies and mothers. The money paid for these gifts, which include t-shirts, hats, water bottles, and even face masks, goes toward research, programs, education, and advocacy initiatives. You can also choose to give an empowering symbolic gift, such as “Give a Baby Access to Lifesaving Screenings.”
Together, we can improve the lives of countless mothers and infants.