Mamas on Bedrest: November 17, 2012 is World Prematurity Day

November 16th, 2012

I’ll never forget the first time that I held my daughter. It was around 8am, a full 12 hours after I had given birth to her via a dicey c-section. We were both pretty much “undone” from the experience, and that morning the neonatologist brought my baby to me in a little isolette on her way to the NICU.

No mama nor family is ever prepared for a preterm birth. The very nature of preterm labor and preterm birth mean birth under emergent circumstances. So while mama has not had time to prepare herself mentally or physically for the iminent birth of her child, likewise, her child has not had adequate time to prepare for existence in the world outside of the womb. As such, preterm infants are at risk of severe health and developmental problems and lifelong disabilities. According to the March of Dimes, Prematurity is the #1 killer of newborns. 1 out of every 8 infants will be born prematurely in the United States annually and 15 million infants are born prematurely worldwide.

In 2003 The March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Campaign in order to raise awareness about premature birth and the strain it places on families and our society. The March of Dimes is also working with global partners to raise awareness, fund research and to support families of premature infants. It is a well established fact that babies who are born before 39 weeks are at increased risk of complications, and these risks and complications increase the earlier the babies are born. The March of Dimes and its global partners are doing all that they can to support families so that they will have the health care, support and resources that they need to carry infants to term and give birth to healthy babies.

So Mamas, tomorrow November 17, 2012, please lift your voices and share with your families, friends, neighbors and communities the rising problem of prematurity globally. Many Mamas on Bedrest know better than many other mamas what its like to have a preemie. Share your stories and also use this time to ask for help with your bed rest experience. Yes, share with those around you that you need help to go as far towards term as possible to give your baby the best possible start. Humble yourselves and ask for the help that you need-whether it’s around your home, with older children, giving your partner/spouse a hand or just stopping by to help keep your spirits up. I know that asking for help is so difficult for many of us, but if you can’t do it for yourself, do it out of love for your baby.

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