Prematurity Awareness Month/Day

| November 17, 2010 | Comments (3)
Tiny feet of premature baby

photo courtesy of Ohio Division of March of Dimes

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, sponsored by the March of Dimes. Today, November 17, is also the 8th Annual National Prematurity Awareness Day. It also happens to be the birthday of my two favorite preemies, my twins.

I think it’s fabulous that Prematurity Awareness Day falls on their birthday. What a wonderful way to celebrate their miraculous survival and to raise awareness of the serious issues surrounding premature birth.

We were lucky. Our twins were only about a pound and a half each at birth and spent five months in the hospital. We went through years of playing catching up with the help of occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and one-on-one professional and liquid therapy for mom. Every step was painful and joyful at the same time, and at 19 (!) both children are happy, healthy and moving forward in their lives.

We were also lucky to live in Chicago, which is home to a number of outstanding Level III neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), the largest of which are:

These five hospital units alone comprise hundreds of preemie beds, which speaks to the growing need. The March of Dimes reports the following statistics on premature birth in America:

  • 543,000 babies, 1 in 8, are born prematurely each year.
  • Premature birth is the number 1 killer of newborns.
  • Premature babies cost 10 times more than healthy babies.
  • The rate of premature births has risen 30 percent since 1981.

Worldwide, the 13 million babies are born prematurely each year. For more information on the Prematurity Campaign, visit the March of Dimes website. Happy birthday, my babies.

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Category: Birthdays, New Posts

About Alma K: Alma started her personal blog,, in 2006--right around the time her firstborn began speaking in sentences. She now has two girls, 5 and 3, and lives in a 100 year old house in Oak Park. Husband Josh works from home part-time, which makes the juggle of working full time as a creative at a large downtown ad shop that much easier. The daughter of a Foreign Service officer, Alma spent her childhood moving from place to place. She moved to Chicago for college at age 18 and never left. If it wasn't for the winters, she'd never dream of leaving. Follow Alma on Twitter @marketingmommy. View author profile.

Comments (3)

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  1. MoDBarb says:

    On behalf of the March of Dimes, I want to thank you for blogging for Preemies. It is through the continued support of Moms like you that we spread the word and fight to end prematurity. I am so happy to hear that your twins are 19 years old and doing well in the world. That will be inspirational to other families of Preemies. Again, thank you for helping us help babies…everywhere.

  2. Shari says:

    I’m glad your twins had such excellent care. It’s a funny thing about twins and prematurity. People always assume multiples are premature. Our girls each weighed more than 6 lbs and came home in 48 hours. When we say we have twins, people get that sad tone in their voices and say, “How big were they when they were born?” Or I hear, “How long did they spend in the NICU?” This campaign is greatly needed. I’m glad the March of Dimes has taken on the cause.

  3. Susan @ 2KoP says:

    I have a friend who made it past 40 weeks with her twins. When they told her she wasn’t in labor yet, she cried and threatened not to leave until the babies were born.

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