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    March of Dimes Honors Moms on Mother’s Day

    Rochelle Darman, State Director of Marketing and Communications, March of Dimes, 754-300-2610, rdarman@marchofdimes.com

    Maitland, Florida, April 29, 2014 —

    Every time a baby is born, so is a mother, and the March of Dimes is celebrating all moms and the direct impact they have on stronger, healthier babies.

    There is no better time than Mother’s Day – a celebration of the caregiving spirit of moms and of the beauty of motherhood – to highlight the importance of women’s health. About 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, and the March of Dimes touches all their lives, and their moms’. By improving the health of babies, the March of Dimes has become a mainstay for communities across the country.

    The excitement and joy of motherhood begins with a healthy body, and by focusing on preconception health the March of Dimes aims to help all moms fulfill their aspirations and dreams.

    “Moms play the most important role in the lives of babies,” said Dr. Karen Harris, Chair of the Program Services Committee for the Florida Chapter of the March of Dimes. “That’s why focusing on preconception health is a key factor for ensuring babies get a healthy start in life; healthier moms are more likely to have healthy babies.”

    The best way for women of childbearing age to plan a happy motherhood is to make sound choices that can benefit their pregnancy and their baby. Before pregnancy, a woman’s lifestyle and medical decisions can have the greatest impact. Since approximately half of all pregnancies are unplanned, the March of Dimes recommends that all women of childbearing age adopt healthy lifestyles for the best possible maternal outcomes.

    Among the best practices that women can embrace is making foods that are rich in folic acid part of their daily diet. Found in multivitamins, green vegetables and citrus fruits, among others, this B vitamin is necessary for normal growth and development. March of Dimes advices women of childbearing age to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before and during early pregnancy, as this therapy has been linked to the reduction of serious birth defects of the brain and spine.

    Another recommendation is to drop unhealthy habits that can have adverse effects on an unborn baby. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy have a higher risk of complications, such as premature birth and even stillbirth. Likewise, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, prematurity and physical and mental birth defects.

    “Breaking bad habits and engaging in daily exercise can have a direct positive outcome on your mind and body,” explained Harris. “The sooner you adopt a healthier lifestyle, the better the chances of your baby being born healthy,” she added.

    March of Dimes also communicates to future mothers and health care providers that if a pregnancy is healthy, it is best to wait for labor to begin on its own. The Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign aims to reduce the rate of early elective deliveries, such as inductions of labor and Cesarean sections without a medical reason, which increase the baby’s risk of serious health problems. The final weeks of pregnancy are crucial to a baby’s health because many vital organs, including the brain and lungs, are still developing.

    This year the March of Dimes continues its annual imbornto campaign. The organization will partner with retailers and brands, including Scentsy, Martha Stewart, Kmart and eBay, to remind people that every baby is born to do something great and that no matter what you were born to do, the March of Dimes helped you get there.

    Consumers are encouraged to shop, dine or donate where they see the imbornto seal to get involved and support the cause. Visit imbornto.com for more details.

    For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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