The March of Dimes is the leading non-profit organization that helps families with babies who were born premature or with a birth defect. Babies born premature or with a birth defect are very at risk. Ill. I have been involved with the March of Dimes ever since I can remember. 19 years ago I lost my brother Hunter birth defects, 17 years ago lost my sister Christine to birth defects and 16 years ago my brother Adam was born premature. Today Adam is a happy and healthy driving 16 year old. IV. Today I am going to talk about (1) the history of the
March of Dimes, (2) reasons why babies might be born premature or with a birth defect, (3) and what the mission of the March of Dimes IS. Body I. The history of the March of Dimes: a. In 1 938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt personal struggle with polio lead him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Now known as the March of Dimes, the foundation established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines, which effectively ended epidemic polio in the United States. B. With the goal of eliminating polio accomplished, in 1958
Basil O’Connor, the president of the March of Dimes at the time, turned the focus of the March of Dimes to preventing birth defects and infant mortality. I. March of Dimes led the way to discover the genetics causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancies. II. Premature birth is the number one cause of death during the first month of life. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk for lifelong disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, lung robbers, and vision and hearing loss.
Premature birth means a baby is born too early, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, before the lungs, brain and other organs have time to fully develop. Most premature babies are born between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy; this is called late preterm birth. Survival is possible for babies born as early as 23 to 26 weeks. There are many reasons why a baby might be born premature or with a birth defect. Low birth weight is also a major concern in pregnancies. B. Low birth weight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
Babies born under 5 pounds, 8 ounces can cause serious health problems for some babies. Two main reasons why a baby may be born with low birth rate is premature birth and fetal growth restriction. I. Fetal growth restriction means a baby doesn’t gain the weight he or she should before birth. This can be caused from having small parents or high blood pressure during the pregnancy. C. Mom’s health is the best indicator of her baby’s health. Early and regular prenatal care is very important to monitor mom and baby to identify problems before they become serious. Mothers who have health conditions may lead them to having their baby premature or having a baby with fetal growth restriction. Some conditions that could lead to this happening are: 1. Chronic health conditions, infections, problems with placenta, not gaining weight during pregnancy, smoking, drinking, and street drugs. D. Birth defects change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. They can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops, or in how they limit a baby’s development in the womb.
Babies with birth effects are more likely than babies without birth defects to be born prematurely. Ill. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. March of Dimes provides mothers, pregnant women and women of childbearing age with educational resources on baby health, pregnancy, preconception and new motherhood. March of Dimes also helps mothers and families if something goes wrong. The March of Dimes offers information and comfort to families and researches the problems that threaten babies and work on reverting them.
Conclusion l. My experience with the March of Dimes has been like no other experience. I have been involved personally for many years from volunteering for the annual March for Babies even which is held in April every year, serving on the High School Council Committee, and traveling around the United States meeting other volunteers from other states sharing stories and experiences. Being involved with the March Of Dimes has been life changing for me. My life has shaped around living for my brothers and sister and I could not imagine it to be any other way. II.
The number of premature births had increased so much that it demanded action. Since 2003, the March of Dimes’ fight to save babies has been strongly influenced by their Prematurely Campaign, which they launched. The March of Dimes responded and continues to respond by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurely. Ill. Getting involved with the March of Dimes and explaining their mission statement to people helps save babies all over the United States. The March of Dimes has changed by life, why not change yours?
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