Prematurity Prevention Resource Center

The March of Dimes invites you to experience the Prematurity Prevention Resource Center (PPRC), a single-source clearinghouse of information and tools on prematurity and prematurity prevention. For professionals, the PPRC provides opportunities for enhanced clinical practice, continuing education, implementing local prematurity-prevention efforts, and communicating with other professionals committed to reducing the incidence of preterm birth and improving birth outcomes. The site features:

  • Prematurity basics, including definitions, risk factors, epidemiology and information on the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign
  • Interventions for use in medical practice
  • Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait®, a community-based intervention program
  • Professional education opportunities
  • Resources, including patient education products, media tools, manuals and toolkits
  • Research, including abstracts and major federal reports
  • Clinical and systems support
  • Advocacy and government affairs
  • Global initiatives
  • Disparities
  • NICU Care
  • Links to related sites

Prematurity Prevention Network

The PPRC also serves as the focal point and communication platform for the Prematurity Prevention Network, a global coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting prematurity prevention. The official Network launch is scheduled for 2012. Additionally, the PPRC will feature the efforts of the Transdisciplinary research centers, a professional collaborative dedicated to prematurity research.

Downloadable resources and materials

  • March of Dimes resources available at no cost at the PPRC include:
  • Elimination of Non-medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries before 39 Weeks Gestational Age: Quality Improvement Toolkit
  • Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait: Preventing Preterm Births through Community-based Interventions: An Implementation Manual
  • Preterm Labor Assessment Toolkit
  • Towards Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy III

Most common questions

Does the March of Dimes provide information about birth defects?

Yes. The March of Dimes produces fact sheets on several birth defects, including autism, chromosomal abnormalities, cleft lip, congenital heart defects and Down syndrome. Simply type the name of the birth defect into the search box.

What happens during a preconception checkup?

A preconception checkup can help assure that a woman is as healthy as possible before she conceives. Her provider can identify and often treat health conditions that can pose a risk in pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or certain infections. During the visit, the woman can learn about nutrition, weight, smoking, drinking alcohol and occupational exposures that can pose pregnancy risks. The provider also can make sure a woman’s vaccinations are up to date and that any medications she takes are safe during pregnancy. The woman and her provider can discuss her health history and that of her partner and family. If the woman or her partner has a history of birth defects or preterm birth or if either has a high risk for a genetic disorder based on family history, ethnic background or age, the provider may suggest seeing a genetic counselor.

What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is an abnormality of structure, function or metabolism (body chemistry) present at birth that results in physical or intellectual disabilities or death. Thousands of different birth defects have been identified. Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.

See also: Common birth defects

What newborn screening tests does the March of Dimes recommend?

The March of Dimes would like to see all babies in all states screened for at least 31 health conditions. Many of these health conditions can be treated if found early.

All states require newborn screening for at least 26 health conditions. Some states require screening for additional conditions – some up to 50 or more. For more information, read our article on newborn screening.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).