Fight against prematurity gains steam

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Not all families with premature infants are as lucky as the 2011 March of Dimes ambassadors the Schipkes.
Audrey is a happy, healthy toddler now, but not all preemie stories have that happy ending.
Babies who are born too soon struggle to breathe and eat. Because of advances in treating premature babies – many of which are the result of March of Dimes research – fewer premature babies die. However, they are at increased risk for a host of disabilities, weakened immune systems and developmental delays. With intensive medical care, many children overcome incredible challenges to live and thrive. Others will have significant challenges all their lives.
“Prevention is key,” said Dr. Kristen Turner, a Tupelo obstetrician-gynecologist.
The March of Dimes pours its efforts into research and education programs to help moms-to-be achieve full-term pregnancies as well as care for infants.
“We offer educational programs and take information to health fairs,” around Northeast Mississippi, along with professional development for health care workers, said JonJon Suggs, the March of Dimes community director for North Mississippi.

March for Babies
- When: April 30

- Where: Veterans Park in Tupelo

- Registration: 8:30 a.m.; 2-mile walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

- Other activities: Facepainting, inflatables, traditional picnic games.

- Info: Call (662) 210-1001 or visit marchforbabies.com.