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  • Incorporate preconception and genetics into your everyday practice.
  • Use our patient education tools in preconception and prenatal care.
  • Use our Prematurity Campaign resources to help improve birth outcomes.
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The March of Dimes invites you to visit, the most comprehensive source of information on prematurity and prematurity prevention. The site is primarily for professional use and provides opportunities for enhanced clinical practice, continuing education, implementing local prematurity-prevention efforts and engaging with other professionals committed to reducing the incidence of premature birth and improving birth outcomes.

The site features:

  • Prematurity Campaign efforts, World Prematurity Day and Global Programs
  • Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait®, a community-based intervention program
  • Professional education opportunities, like webinars and symposia
  • Resources, including toolkits and reports, media tools and patient education products
  • Research, including the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center and the latest research related to premature birth
  • Advocacy and Government Affairs
  • NICU Family Support®
  • Forums

Networks is also home to the Prematurity Prevention Network (PPN) and the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait Implementation Network (Healthy Babies WWIN).

The PPN is a coalition that promotes conversation and knowledge-sharing among public health leaders on important topics regarding premature birth prevention.

Healthy Babies WWIN is a learning and action network that provides partners from all community program sites the opportunity to connect, address challenges and share best practices. This national collaborative network encourages the shared wisdom of front-line community service providers, public health care professionals and clinicians.

Downloadable resources and materials

March of Dimes resources available on at no cost include:

  • Elimination of non-medically indicated (elective) deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age: Quality improvement toolkit
  • Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait: Preventing preterm births through community-based Interventions: An implementation manual 
  • Preterm labor assessment toolkit 
  • Towards improving the outcome of pregnancy III

Last reviewed November 2014

Prematurity prevention

Find information and resources for professionals at the Prematurity Prevention Resource Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the March of Dimes provide information about birth defects?

Yes. The March of Dimes produces fact sheets on several birth defects, including autism, chromosomal abnormalities, cleft lip, congenital heart defects and Down syndrome. Simply type the name of the birth defect into the search box.

What happens during a preconception checkup?

A preconception checkup can help assure that a woman is as healthy as possible before she conceives. Her provider can identify and often treat health conditions that can pose a risk in pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or certain infections. During the visit, the woman can learn about nutrition, weight, smoking, drinking alcohol and occupational exposures that can pose pregnancy risks. The provider also can make sure a woman’s vaccinations are up to date and that any medications she takes are safe during pregnancy. The woman and her provider can discuss her health history and that of her partner and family. If the woman or her partner has a history of birth defects or preterm birth or if either has a high risk for a genetic disorder based on family history, ethnic background or age, the provider may suggest seeing a genetic counselor.

What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is an abnormality of structure, function or metabolism (body chemistry) present at birth that results in physical or intellectual disabilities or death. Thousands of different birth defects have been identified. Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.

See also: Common birth defects

What newborn screening tests does the March of Dimes recommend?

The March of Dimes would like to see all babies in all states screened for at least 31 health conditions. Many of these health conditions can be treated if found early.

All states require newborn screening for at least 26 health conditions. Some states require screening for additional conditions – some up to 50 or more. For more information, read our article on newborn screening.

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