Friday, November 26, 2010

National Prematurity Awareness Month

This is National Prematurity Awareness Month, says the March of Dimes. I am taking time from my regularly scheduled programming to talk about this, because it is something I feel strongly about.

Babies are sort of like turkeys; they need to stay in the proverbial oven until they are done. When a child comes into this world before it is ready, there may be all sorts of health issues. It's tough enough being born! I don't know any good mother out there who wants their baby to have birth defects. (for the record, if you want your baby to have birth defects so they can get a larger disability check, you are a very bad mother who should never have children.) I work with a lot of kids who were born prematurely, and the problems associated with premature birth are lifelong. In addition to possible health issues such as blindness, there is also a good chance that there will be learning disabilities or even mental retardation.

One of the ways to prevent premature birth is by taking care of yourself during your pregnancy with regular checkups and healthy eating. Another way to avoid premature birth is by not smoking. Another is by taking prenatal vitamins. These are simple things to do, and there are organizations out there dedicated to helping mothers who can't afford it or who need additional help. There is simply no excuse these days for an expectant mother to lack prenatal care.

My son was born a couple of days short of 32 weeks. He weighed 3lbs. He was in the NICU for a month before we could bring him home. It was a scary time, and there was a heavy price tag at the end of it, both emotionally and financially. If I could have done anything to carry my son to term, I would have. I didn't have a choice, but quite a few pregnant women DO have a choice.

So, if you are pregnant and reading this and you have not made any effort to at least see a doctor, this is my message for you: get off your ass and take care of your baby. If you know someone who is pregnant, ask them about whether they are getting prenatal care of some sort. If they say no, help them find it.


  1. My niece was also born premature and it was a very scary time! Thanks for the info.
    Following you via Bloggy Moms!
    Have a happy day.
    Jess Mead

  2. 5 year olds are kind of like turkeys, too, but for very different reasons...

  3. My autie son (now 6) thought long and hard about being born at 33wks, but thankfully decided to stay where he was until almost full term. It was a really scary time.
    If he had been born early I would probably have always blamed that for his autism. Funny how things work out.


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