Many babies are not this fortunate, however. Today more than 1,400 (1 in 8) babies will be born prematurely in the U. S. Some of these babies will go on to develop normally, but many will face years of ongoing health problems or developmental delays. In fact, half of all neurological disabilities in children are due to prematurity. Since child development is the focus of this blog, I felt it especially important to give this topic some attention.
It was a surprise to me to learn that prematurity rates increased over 20% from 1990 to 2006. I think many of us think prematurity is something that we've overcome in this age of advanced medical technologies. Organizations like the March of Dimes to great work in funding research to try to uncover the causes of prematurity so that it can be prevented in the future. Unfortunately, it is not yet completely clear why babies are born too early. This is why more research is needed to help understand prematurity more fully.
If you know of a family with a premature baby, think of them today and support them in any way you can. I encourage you to read the information at the March of Dimes and consider supporting their campaigns if you can.