There are too many babies born too early in the United States and around the world. November 17th marks World Prematurity Day, which raises awareness of this serious health crisis. For the first time in 8 years the United States’ preterm birth rate rose to 9.6%. This means that almost 1 out of every 10 babies is born before 37 weeks gestation.
At Catholic Medical Center, Child Birth Education, the Pregnancy Care Center, the Special Care Nursery and The Mom’s Place all play a vital role in the community to give each and every baby a chance of survival. The Childbirth Preparation Program provides parents with information and resources to achieve healthy and full term pregnancies and births. Classes also help parents build coping strategies and resiliency for unexpected events such as premature labor and birth.
Thanks to the Centering Pregnancy Program at the PCC, expectant moms of different ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds have healthier babies. In fact, several published studies have shown that Centering nearly eliminates racial disparities in preterm birth.
The Mom’s Place and Special Care Nursery’s advanced philosophy of family-centered care decreases the separation between parents and their premature infants beginning immediately after birth and continuing through their transition home. This philosophy empowers the parents to be competent caregivers for their premature infants and results in better bonding, better breastfeeding rates at discharge and a decreased length of stay for these infants. The use of human milk for premature infants has tremendous benefits for both improving growth and health outcomes of this vulnerable population.
The nurses and providers of CMC’s Maternal and Child Health Services are continuously striving to use evidence and improve quality to optimize outcomes for all premature births.