Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait
At King's Daughters, we believe that Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait. We have partnered with the March of Dimes to educate moms, dads and
physicians on the importance of the last few weeks of a baby's development before birth. During this time, major organs, like the brain, lungs and liver, are still growing. Eyes and ears are developing. The baby is learning to suck and swallow.
The March of Dimes and King's Daughters want babies to get at least 39 weeks of pregnancy.
The Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign was developed by the March of Dimes in response to a 30 percent increase in preterm birth (before 37 weeks gestation). In 2006, this rate reached an all-time high of 12.8 percent. The March of Dimes, the Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute and the Kentucky Department for Public Health launched an innovative, community-based preterm birth prevention initiative called Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.
Preterm birth (defined as birth before 37 completed weeks’ gestation) is the leading cause of infant death in the U.S. and puts babies at great risk for lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, blindness, and physical and neurological impairment.
Just a few extra days in the womb can make a difference. Even babies considered “late preterm,” those born between 34 and 36 weeks, are more likely than full-term infants to experience acute problems after birth, be re-hospitalized, or die within the first year of life. Preventing preterm birth not only saves babies’ lives and improves the future for them and their families, it can lessen the long-term toll such births take on our communities.