Supporting moms all throughout their pregnancies
We help moms get the information and care they need before, during and after pregnancy. If something goes wrong, we support families in the NICU. Learn more about some of our community programs below.
NICU Family Support
When a baby is born too soon or very sick and starts life in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), the March of Dimes is there to support the family. One in every 10 babies born in the United States is admitted to a NICU. Some babies spend just a couple of days, others many long months. Having a baby hospitalized in a NICU can be frightening, confusing and overwhelming. The Missouri Chapter’s NICU Family Support specialist is on-site at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to offer information and comfort. We enhance family-centered care practices to address the needs of families and provide professional education to NICU staff. The families of some 700 babies are touched by NICU Family Support annually.
Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait
Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait (HBWW) is a preterm birth prevention initiative with a focus on “preventable” late preterm birth. Through partnerships and collaborations between hospitals, health departments and community organizations, HBWW provides education for pregnant patients, health care providers and the greater community to understand the problem of preterm birth and what measures can be taken to reduce the risks of it occurring. Health professionals can download extensive materials (registration required) on prematurity preventiona, particularly on avoiding elective deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Smoking: It’s Not Okay
A two-year campaign, financed by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, is helping March of Dimes get the word out in St. Louis that there is help for pregnant smokers who want to quit. Bus shelter and radio advertisements in the city urge smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) for free, confidential help. The Quitline is run by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Nearly 20 percent of babies born in St. Louis are premature and pregnant Missourians smoke 60 percent more than the national average. New research links smoking to prematurity and a range of birth defects, including heat ailments, deformed limbs, clubfoot, gastrointestinal disorders, and facial disorders.
Prematurity Medical Conferences
Missouri March of Dimes brings together experts on multiple aspects of prematurity to share ideas and best practices. The St. Louis conferences are full-day events, offering CEUs for nurses. Experts present the latest Missouri birth data, keynote speakers offer their observations and research findings.