Each year, more than 460,000 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely, nearly half for unknown reasons. Some babies are so small, doctors can’t save them. Others may suffer lifelong consequences such as blindness or mental retardation.
The facts about
premature birth:
• It is the leading cause of newborn death.
• 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely.
• Health care costs for premature babies are about 10 times higher than for babies born full term.
• Tennessee has the 47th highest rate of prematurity in the nation.
• A pregnant woman who smokes increases the risk of a preterm delivery by about 30%.

Each week in the state of Tennessee, 206 babies are born prematurely. This year, the March of Dimes invested more than $377,000 in Tennessee for program services, including national research grants, community grants, and local and professional education. Through these grants, the March of Dimes is seeking ways to prevent birth defects and infant mortality, find the causes of preterm birth, and increase access to prenatal care and educate men and women about having healthy babies.

You’ve been helped by the March of Dimes if:
You’ve received a polio vaccine.
Your baby or someone you know received lung surfactant therapy to treat respiratory distress syndrome.
You’re aware that drinking, drugs, and tobacco use during pregnancy may cause serious birth defects.
Your baby or someone you know was cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit.
You’re aware that folic acid may help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
The March of Dimes and Sevier County volunteers invites you to participate in this year’s WalkAmerica. Walk and raise money to save babies.
• Sunday, March 23, 2003
• Starting at Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge
• Registration and entertainment starting at 1:00
• Walk begins at 2:00 p.m.
Call the March of Dimes at 865-694-6003 for more information!

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