Antony Berkman, president, BlogCatalog, 210-535-0952
Elizabeth Lynch, email@example.com , 914-997-4286
SAN ANTONIO, TX; Oct. 13, 2009 – BloggersUnite.org, a social awareness initiative supported by 200,000 BlogCatalog.com members, is partnering with March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, to expand a global social awareness campaign about the need to prevent premature birth and give all babies a healthy start in life.
The campaign, BloggersUnite: Fight For Preemies, asks bloggers from all over the world to post on the same day - Prematurity Awareness Day – on behalf of the more than 13 million babies that are born too soon each year worldwide. Collectively, their posts will reach millions of people all over the world during November, Prematurity Awareness Month.
Nov. 17 will mark the 7th Annual Prematurity Awareness Day, a time when March of Dimes volunteers and parents draw attention to the crisis of premature birth (birth before 37 weeks gestation) and its toll on babies and families.
"The March of Dimes is the champion of babies and we are fighting to give all babies a healthy start in life. Bloggers and parents can visit marchofdimes.com/fightforpreemies to learn how they can help," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "March of Dimes is thrilled to partner with the founders of BloggersUnite.org and BlogCatalog members to make Prematurity Awareness Day a featured social media event and to harness the power of the Internet to fight for preemies."
Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually. It is the leading cause of newborn death and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, mental retardation and others. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon (34-36 weeks gestation, also known as late preterm) have higher rates of death and disability than full-term babies.
In addition to promoting the campaign with the help of millions of volunteers, supporters, and celebrities, March of Dimes will be working with BlogCatalog to provide source material for bloggers. Several topics include: the escalating rate of prematurity (36 percent in the last two decades); the increasing need for research in the field of prematurity to help reduce risks and long-term complications; and help more women learn how they can reduce the risk of premature birth.
"Since its early beginnings, BloggersUnite has truly evolved into a member-driven social awareness campaign that is conceived, promoted, and supported by tens of thousands of bloggers," says Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog and co-founder of Bloggers Unite. "We are thrilled that their hard work has attracted the attention, admiration, and support of March of Dimes, especially because one of our co-founders experienced the hardship of having a premature baby firsthand."
Berkman added that since bloggers are choosing their own topic on prematurity – the importance of prenatal care, the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report card, which grades the nation and the states, the increasing need for health care practitioners who are trained to help these babies survive, and the financial and emotional burden placed on families -- he expects some may even share personal stories that have yet to be covered by mainstream media.
Bloggers are encouraged but not required to register their blogs at BloggersUnite.org and visit the event page for BloggersUnite: Fight For Preemies. http://www.bloggersunite.org/event/fight-for-preemies.
The event page includes a growing assortment of badges, videos, and support material for bloggers, future parents, and pregnant women.
The March of Dimes is the leading organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit www.marchofdimes.com or www.nacersano.org.
Since 2007, BloggersUnite has evolved from a BlogCatalog member initiative into a member-driven online community where bloggers can unite and coordinate activities for dozens of causes. Every year, the founders of BloggersUnite.org, together with BlogCatalog members, dedicate additional time and resources to three underserved causes.