March of Dimes Raises Standards for Healthy Babies through March for Babies
Maitland, Florida, March 20, 2014
March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for mom and baby health, benefits the nearly 4 million babies born in the United States every year through research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. This year, March for Babies – the organization’s premier fundraising walk – is expected to draw more than 7 million people in 900 communities across the nation, in support of its mission for stronger, healthier babies.
“What makes the March of Dimes a vital part of our community is the commitment to fund research that will ultimately improve the health of babies,” said March of Dimes Florida Chapter Chair Jennifer Guy. “We want to help more babies get a healthier start in life and prevent serious health complications.”
Funds from March for Babies finance programs that help moms-to-be have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies; provide support, information and comfort to families with a newborn in intensive care and to those who experience loss; and support research to develop lifesaving treatments and preventions for critical health problems present at birth. Last year, March for Babies walks in Florida brought in a combined $8.7 million to support the mission.
“We encourage everyone to visit marchforbabies.org, find a walk site near you, register and help us secure funds,” commented Guy. “When you join a team or create your own, and take advantage of all the fun initiatives for fundraising March of Dimes offers, you help spare parents the pain of having a baby born too soon or too sick.”
This year, March of Dimes Florida Chapter awarded 19 community grants to organizations that support mom and baby health across the state. Local volunteers also worked with elected officials on Advocacy Day to address the high cost of prematurity to business and the need to reduce the state’s premature birth rate from 13.7 to 9.6 percent, which could save half a billion dollars a year.
Funds from March for Babies also supports Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, a campaign that educates health care providers and the public alike about the importance of making sure babies get a gestation period of at least 39 weeks. A 2013 study featured in Obstetrics & Gynecology concluded that hospital-based programs – including those implemented in six Florida hospitals – can effectively reduce unnecessary early deliveries in healthy pregnancies.
March of Dimes also introduced the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, signed by President Obama last November, which will help fight prematurity and birth defects. Preventing premature birth in Florida could mean an annual savings up to $1 billion, according to the March of Dimes.
The fundraising campaign leads up to March for Babies in the spring, bringing together family teams, corporate teams and individuals. “Besides paving the way for the health of our children, March for Babies is a fun day out with others who have experienced prematurity or loss and are determined to make a difference,” added Guy.
For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.