African American babies are being born at a faster rate these days. One in every six births in the United States are premature. In Newark alone, it’s one in five.
Preterm births are both extremely costly as well as emotionally tolling for families because the babies are born unhealthy. It’s also the primary death of all newborns.
A new program, Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, launched in Newark by the March of Dimes, local health officials, and Johnson and Johnson to help give babies a healthier start in life. The program seeks to prevent premature births to provide a service to new mothers who may be seeking education about healthcare and the consequences of an early birth. The program also provides healthcare providers for new mothers.
Premature birth is the number one cause of death in all newborns.
Over at the Huffington Post, they detail steps for new mothers:
1. Arrange a preconception check-up with a health care provider before getting pregnant to make sure you are in the best heath possible.
2. Seek early prenatal care. All women should visit with their health care provider as soon as pregnancy is recognized so that their pregnancy can be managed. Women who have already had a preterm infant may be candidates for interventions that can reduce the chance of having another premature baby.
3. Manage your medical problems. Women with diabetes, hypertension or other medical problems should plan their pregnancies. Work with your doctor to first get these conditions under control before attempting pregnancy.
4. Manage medications. Women who take medications should make sure that any medication they are taking is safe in pregnancy.
5. Develop healthy habits. Avoid stress, tobacco, alcohol or the use of other illicit drugs. Take a multivitamin with folic acid every day to reduce the chance of birth defects. Eat properly and get to a healthy weight.