Those who came too soon

Published 8:24 pm Sunday, November 5, 2017

November is prematurity awareness month, and while the annual March of Dimes, March for Babies will not take place in LaGrange until May, now is the perfect time to take a moment to consider the families who have faced and are facing the complications that come with premature birth. Premature birth is defined as birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and it is the number one cause of death in babies in the United States according to the March of Dimes. In Georgia, 11.2 percent of babies are born premature. Many of those children face long term health problems as a result of being born too soon.

These babies — as wonderful and all important as they are — are not the only ones who have to face the impact of premature birth though. The stress of premature birth often takes a toll on the entire family. There is after all, nothing more terrifying then not knowing what will happen to your child.

The causes for premature birth are often unknown, but certain risk factors are known and research continues on this important topic. March of Dimes is the leading agency advocating that research.

Later this month, the March of Dimes and WellStar West Georgia Medical Center will host a proclamation signing in honor of World Prematurity Day. Hopefully the awareness that proclamation brings will let parents know that they are not alone in this battle.

And to everyone who has faced the challenges related to premature birth or who is facing them now, you are in our thoughts and prayers.