Fighting premature birth
After decades of increases, the rate of premature birth in the United States has now been on a steady decline for the last several years.
This decline – to 9.6 percent today – has saved thousands of babies from being born too soon. It also has saved our nation billions of dollars in excess health care costs. Despite this progress, about 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year.
The Prematurity Campaign
In 2003, the March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Campaign to address the crisis and help families have full-term, healthy babies. We’re funding lifesaving research and speaking out for legislation that improves care for moms and babies. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born prematurely each year. In 2008, we expanded the campaign globally.
Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait®
Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® is a comprehensive initiative by the March of Dimes to prevent preventable preterm birth, with a focus on reducing elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation. Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait involves an education and awareness campaign, hospital quality improvement and community intervention programs. These strategies are focused on interventions and activities that have the potential to make an immediate, substantial and measurable impact on preterm birth.
Prematurity Awareness Month®
November is Prematurity Awareness Month® and when the March of Dimes focuses the nation’s attention on premature birth. The awareness month kicks off with the release of the Premature Birth Report Card. November 17 marks World Prematurity Day, and the March of Dimes and our partner organizations worldwide are asking everyone to help spread the word on the serious problem of premature birth.