Supporting moms all throughout their pregnancies.
We help moms get the information and care they need before, during and after pregnancy. If something goes wrong, we support families in the NICU. Learn more about some of our community programs below.
When a baby is born too soon or very sick and starts life in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), the March of Dimes is there to support the family. One in every 10 babies born in the United States is admitted to a NICU. Some babies spend just a couple of days, others many long months. Having a baby hospitalized in a NICU can be frightening, confusing and overwhelming. NICU Family Support offers information and comfort. We enhance family-centered care practices in partner hospitals to address the needs of families and provide professional education to NICU staff.
Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait (HBWW) is a preterm birth prevention initiative with a focus on “preventable” late preterm birth. Through partnerships and collaborations between hospitals, health departments and community organizations, HBWW provides education for pregnant patients, health care providers and the greater community to understand the problem of preterm birth and what measures can be taken to reduce the risks of it occurring.
The March of Dimes MOMmobile is a mobile prenatal care clinic designed to operate like a traditional health care provider’s office, with private exam areas, waiting area, nurse’s station, education area, and a medical laboratory.
Florida Chapter Mission Report
Nearly 240,000 babies are born in Florida every year, and the March of Dimes Florida Chapter volunteers and staff are here to help them have healthier births. We fund important research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. We also provide information and support to families whose baby was born too soon or sick. Thanks to our advocacy efforts, Florida now screens babies for 29 of the most serious but treatable metabolic conditions. Surfactant and nitrous oxide therapies save the lives of tens of thousands of babies suffering from respiratory distress syndrome because they were born too early. And folic acid education and fortification campaigns have helped protect babies from neural tube birth defects like spina bifida.
While many servicemen are deployed protecting our country, many of their spouses are sometimes in new cities, away from the support of family members and friends, and dealing with the various stages of pregnancy alone while worrying about their deployed husband’s safe return home. Dealing with the challenges of being a spouse of a deployed serviceman alone can be demanding, but high stress during pregnancy might increase their risk of having a premature baby. Navy families and U.S. Navy employees worldwide receive electronic newsletters entitled Family Connection that the March of Dimes submits articles to in an effort to assist in the education of prematurity prevention and risk reduction. The U.S. Navy currently has over 300,000 Sailors as well as numerous civilian employees. This newsletter reaches deployed Sailors and is located on the Individual Augmentee website, Facebook, and Twitter. We are also in the process of holding a webinar for the U.S. Navy workers and volunteers to help inform them of the various resources that the March of Dimes can offer military families.
Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative
The March of Dimes is a founding member of The Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FPQC) at the Lawton & Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South Florida. With a grant from the March of Dimes Florida chapter to expand education on non-medically indicated (elective) deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age to health professionals, this project seeks to improve knowledge about the inherent quality-associated and economic risks of non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks through a three-year coordinated educational and communication campaign focused on the importance of the last two weeks of pregnancy in order to raise awareness and change provider, payer, and policymaker attitudes and clinical care practices.
Over the next three years, the FPQC will provide Grand Rounds and web-based presentations for clinicians, develop and host executive briefings for health insurers and policymakers, and use social media to provide updates on the latest evidence on non-medically indicated deliveries. We will also be working to expand adoption of the California/MOD toolkit to eliminate non-medically indicated deliveries to hospitals across the state.
Healthy babies are worth the wait! The consequences for babies born by a scheduled induction or cesarean section with no medical before 39 completed weeks of gestation include increased morbidity and increased costs. Such babies are at increased risk for respiratory distress syndrome, transient tachypnea, sepsis, ventilator use in the first 24 hours, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit among others.
The March of Dimes Florida Chapter works with the Florida Department of Health on the Every Woman Florida Preconception Health Initiative. Preconception health, the health of a woman before she becomes pregnant, has been recognized as one of the key factors in improving a mother’s and baby’s health during and after pregnancy. Improving preconception health translates into healthier women, pregnancies and birth outcomes.
Funding support for grand rounds programs is available on a limited basis through an application process. For more information, email us.