National Prematurity Day

National Prematurity Day
By:  Wendy Ray
Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns. Every year nearly half a million babies are born too early. Tuesday, November 15th, the March of Dimes is bringing awareness to these numbers by declaring it National Prematurity Day. A Cape Girardeau neonatologist tells me the problem is even greater right here in the Heartland.
So far Brady Eugene Swims young life has been spent at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Southeast Hospital. Brady was born eight weeks early. His mom, Sue Ellen, says her pregnancy was rocky from the start. "I've had blood pressure problems from the few months before I was pregnant. When I got pregnant it got worse, they changed my medications and put me on bed rest," Sue Ellen says.
Neonatologist Richard Flaksman says a blood pressure problem is just one of the many health issues that can lead to premature birth. He says sometimes though it comes down to moms not taking care of themselves. "The care is available, but sometimes it's an issue of getting mothers to the care. The other issue is good prenatal habits like not smoking, not taking drugs, good nutrition," Dr. Flaksman says.
There are those cases that even under the best circumstances babies are born too early. That's why Dr. Flaksman says prematurity will always be an issue. "The prematurity issue will never fully be eradicated, but we will do our darndest to lower that problem," he says.
Days like national prematurity day help bring light to the issue. Sue Ellen is happy her little boy is going home soon. "We're hoping to come home this weekend. He's doing good," she says.

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