|Preemie diapers mark 75th anniversary for March of Dimes|
|Friday, 15 March 2013 02:30 | Written by Administrator|
ATLANTA— There were plenty of tiny diapers at the state Capitol on March 13. Each of the 180 state representatives received one as the March of Dimes marked its 75th anniversary under the Gold Dome.
The state lawmakers each received a diaper specially made for babies born prematurely so they could better understand the size and special needs of preemies. The representatives agreed to donate the diapers to Grady Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“As the grandmother of three children who were born prematurely, this issue is very near and dear to my heart,” said State Rep. Donna Sheldon (R-Dacula), who sponsored the March of Dimes Day at the Capitol. “Babies born prematurely need so much special attention, and March of Dimes works so hard to ensure they get the care they need.”
Sheldon and other lawmakers received a three-inch diaper to demonstrate the average size of premature babies. The diapers are about half the size of those used for full-term newborns.
“As the mother of a preemie baby born at 1 pound, 3 ounces, I understand the importance of the March of Dimes and the support of community stakeholders,” said Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D-Lithonia). “Finding diapers for my preemie was often a difficult task as Hannah was born almost 14 years ago.”
In Georgia, one in every eight babies is born premature. In an average week, 375 babies are born premature in Georgia, adding up to nearly 20,000 babies born early every year. Georgia’s preterm birth rate is currently 13.2 percent. March of Dimes Georgia is working to reduce that number to 9.6 percent by 2020.
“For 75 years, the March of Dimes has dedicated itself to giving all children a healthy start in life,” said Sheila Ryan, state director of the Georgia Chapter of the March of Dimes. “Here in Georgia, our goal is to continue to fight towards a reduction in preterm birth by funding cutting edge research, supporting local prenatal care programs and providing educational materials to expectants moms so that one day, all babies in our state are born healthy.”
Medical care for premature births costs more than 10 times that of full-term babies. On average, the medical care for premature babies is nearly $50,000 in the first year of life, as compared to just over $4,000 for medical care for full term babies. The cost of premature births in the United States amounts to more than $26 trillion annually.
“We chose to donate the diapers to Grady Hospital because it has one of the best neonatal intensive care units in the region,” said Rep. Michele Henson (D-Stone Mountain). “The NICU at Grady Hospital has held a special place in my heart ever since I toured the unit and saw firsthand the amazing work they do every day to save babies that are no bigger that your hand.”
Grady Hospital has the largest Regional Perinatal Center in Georgia and is nationally known for its neonatal intensive care unit. Grady’s Perinatal Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit serves more than 40 counties in the north Georgia region, and there are approximately 550 admissions to the Grady Special Care Nurseries each year.
“We’re grateful that the March of Dimes has brought attention to the critical health needs of premature babies and their mothers,” said Lindsay Caulfield, senior vice president of Public Affairs at Grady. “We’re proud of our long partnership with March of Dimes to help prevent pre-term births.”
Since its founding in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the March of Dimes has been the leading non-profit organization for infant health in the country.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 19:46|