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Prematurity Awareness Month – Test Your Knowledge on Our Quiz

November 25th, 2014 by avatar

Prematurity Awareness Month 2014As November comes to a close, you may have read or seen many articles on the topic of premature babies.  November is Prematurity Awareness Month, recognized in the United States and around the world.  Prematurity affects 15 million babies a year globally and the downstream health consequences to the babies are significant.  There is also a huge burden in terms of health care dollars that are required to treat the baby after birth and then potentially for many years beyond that.

In 2013, the national preterm birth rate fell to its lowest rate in 17 years.  This decrease helped us to meet the 2020 Healthy People Goals 7 years early, which is something to celebrate.  But overall, our prematurity rate is still nothing to be admired, as the United States has one of the highest rates amongst developed nations.

As childbirth educators, we are in a unique position to share information with families, including signs of preterm labor, risk factors and warning signs.  Having conversations in your classes can help families to recognize when something may not  be normal and encourages them to contact their doctor or midwife if they suspect they may be experiencing some of the signs of a potential preterm birth.  While no family wants to think that this might happen to them, bringing up the topic can help them to seek out help sooner.

Science & Sensibility has put together some resources that you can share with the families that you work with.  We also invite you to take the Prematurity Awareness Month Challenge Quiz, and test your knowledge on some basic facts about preterm birth.  See how well you do and compare your results with others also taking the quiz.

Resources to share

Go the Full 40 – AWHONN’s prematurity prevention campaign, including 40 reasons to go the full 40.

Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait – March of Dimes

Healthy People 2020 – Maternal, Infant & Child Health

March of Dimes Prematurity Report Card – Find your state’s grade

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Prematurity Awareness

March of Dimes Videos on Prematurity Awareness

Signs of Preterm Labor – March of Dimes Video

Preterm Labor Assessment Tool Kit for Health Professionals – March of Dimes.

How do you cover the topic of preterm labor in your classes?  What activities do you do?  What videos do you like to show?  Please share with others how you do your part to inform parents about this important topic and help to reduce prematurity in the families you work with.  Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Babies, Childbirth Education, Maternal Quality Improvement, Maternity Care, Newborns, Pain Management, Pre-term Birth , , , ,

Free Webinar: Strong Start For Mothers & Newborns – Reducing Early Elective Deliveries

November 19th, 2012 by avatar

Science & Sensibility would like to let readers know of another free webinar opportunity that is coming up at the end of the month.  The Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Innovation Center is offering an hour webinar titled “Strong Start For Mothers & Newborns – Reducing Early Elective Deliveries” for interested professionals who work with expectant mothers.

Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns is an initiative to reduce early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks and to offer enhanced prenatal care to decrease preterm births.

flickr.com/photos/crincon/957539112/

Leaders in the field of reducing premature births will present information on the importance of reducing early elective deliveries.  They will also discuss how the health of both newborns and mothers can be improved by a reduction in early elective deliveries and share best practices that work toward this goal.  The speakers include representatives from American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), March of Dimes, Health Care Providers and Insurers/Payers.  Success stories will be shared so that programs across the country can work toward reducing early elective births.

The webinar is being held on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 from 3:00- 4:00 PM ET

Please use this link and sign up to register.

Speakers include:

 Erin Smith

Patient Care Models Group

CMS Innovation Center

 

Hal C. Lawrence, MD

Executive Vice President

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists

 

Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP

Senior Vice President & Deputy Medical Director

March of Dimes

 

Kenneth Brown, MD, MBA, FACOG

Medical Director

Woman’s Hospital (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

 

Kathleen Simpson, PhD, RN, FAAN

Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Mercy Hospital (St. Louis, Missouri)

 

Vi Naylor

Executive Vice President

Lynne Hall

Quality Improvement Specialist

Georgia Hospital Association

 

Stephen L. Barlow, MD

Vice President & Chief Medical Officer

SelectHealth (Murray, Utah)

If you have questions or need more information on the Strong Start initiative or registering for this webinar, visit the Strong Start webpage or email us at StrongStart@cms.hhs.gov.

 

Childbirth Education, Continuing Education, Healthy Birth Practices, Healthy Care Practices, informed Consent, Maternal Quality Improvement, Maternity Care, Neonatology, Newborns, Pre-term Birth, Webinars , , , , ,

Late Preterm Birth: A Maternal Health Problem, Too

November 30th, 2011 by avatar

[Editor’s note:  Amy Romano recently shared the following thoughts on Childbirth Connection’s Transforming Maternity Care site.  Those of you who missed reading Amy’s review of a recent study pertaining to the maternal emotional outcomes associated with preterm birth will surely benefit from reading her post here.]

 

More than two-thirds of preterm babies are born “late preterm,” between 34-37 weeks gestation. For many years, the epidemic of late preterm birth was largely ignored, as the typical health problems of these infants were not as severe as the challenges faced by babies born many weeks before term.

Thanks to emerging evidence and advocacy, late preterm birth is now getting recognition as the major public health problem that it is – late preterm babies do in fact face many health risks, including respiratory and feeding problems, longer and more frequent hospitalizations during infancy, and behavioral and learning problems in early childhood.

Late preterm birth is out of the shadows, but part of this public health problem is still hidden.

A new study published in JOGNN looks at the emotional health outcomes of mothers of late preterm babies. Compared with mothers of full-term babies, mothers of late preterm babies had significantly more situational anxiety, depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and worry about their infant’s wellbeing after delivery, differences that persisted when researchers followed up with the mothers one month after giving birth. In interviews, mothers of late preterm infants described many distressing experiences, expressed concern for their own health and their infants’ health, faced many difficulties related to infant feeding and weight gain, and reported lack of timely information from care providers. They also described disruptions in their confidence in their role as mother, an experience exacerbated in women whose babies remained in the hospital after their discharge.

Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are debilitating and sometimes deadly conditions for women, and the children of mothers with these conditions are at risk for poor health and social outcomes. In other words, when a baby is born a few weeks early – even when the infant health outcome is favorable – this event can still have a detrimental and persistent impact on the health and wellbeing of the family.

We need to continue to strengthen efforts to prevent prematurity. When despite these efforts babies are born preterm – even just a little preterm – this study suggests that we must work to protect the health and wellbeing not just of babies, but their mothers, too.

 

 

Posted by Amy Romano, MSN, CNM

New Research, Pre-term Birth, Research , , , , , ,