Preemie Matters – February 2010

In this issue of Preemie Matters: AAP's "Preterm Milestones" Added to  •  Save the Date for Strengthening & Sustaining Preemie Support Programs  •  Spanish-Language Site Focuses on Prematurity as Key Issue for Families  •  Study: Can Low-Dose Aspirin Treatment Improve Preemie Outcomes?  •  Infant Massage & Preemie Brain Development

AAP's "Preterm Milestones" Added to

A longtime favorite American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) resource is now more accessible to expectant parents and families. Their "Milestone Guidelines for Premature Babies," developed by the Preemie Health Coalition in 2005, has been integrated into APA's "Healthy Children" online portal for parents. The brochure encourages families to be active observers of their preterm baby's development, to focus attention on their child's strengths, and to be aware of areas where they need more support. It includes guidelines that help parents convert full-term-baby milestones into preterm-baby milestones, and provides questions for parents to discuss with their child's healthcare provider.

Save the Date for "Strengthening & Sustaining Preemie Support Programs"

Mark your calendar for April 22, 2010, when the National Perinatal Association (NPA) hosts a first-of-its-kind webinar and summit, "Strengthening and Sustaining Preemie Support Programs and State Perinatal Programs." The on-site programs takes place at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, MO from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. while the webinar runs 1 to 4 p.m. The summit is focused on assisting state perinatal associations and support programs for families of preterm infants with fostering leadership to assure continued advocacy and support through state associations and parent support programs, providing strategies for improving administration and programmatic operations, and growing external support and member/volunteer involvement. Webinar panels cover "Models That Work," "Advocating for Your Cause," and "Making the Case for Family Support in Every NICU." For more info, send email to:

Spanish-Language Site Focuses on Prematurity as Key Issue for Families

The March of Dimes has relaunched its Spanish-language website to offer up-to-date, doctor-vetted maternal and information health information. Some of the topics covered on include staying healthy during pregnancy, labor and delivery, newborn care, and prematurity. Among the new features are numerous recipes rich in folate from many Latin American countries, a "Just for Dads" features, a calendar of special events of interest to the Hispanic community, and features on Latino families in the US who have compelling stories to tell, primarily related to prematurity and folic acid. Visitors can also email questions related to maternal health and pregnancy to

Study: Can Low-Dose Aspirin Treatment Improve Preemie Outcomes?

A study published in the January edition of the journal Pediatrics examines the impact of prenatal low-dose aspirin (LDA) treatment on short and long-term outcomes for very preterm infants. The authors used data from the Frenc Etude Epidemiologique des Petites Ages Gestationnels (EPIPAGE) cohort study, which includes all babies born before 33 weeks gestation in nine French regions in 1997. They focused on 656 children born to 584 women with an obstetric history of placental vascular disease or who had chronic hypertension or renal or autoimmune diseases. LDA was not found to be significantly associated with poor outcomes such as mortality, cerebral lesions, cerebral palsy or global cognitive impairment of the children at five years of age. And, in fact, they found that LDA treatment may be associated with fewer neurobehavioral difficulties in children. Read the abstract online.

Infant Massage & Preemie Brain Development

Among the often-heard benefits of infant massage is its special benefits for preterm infants. But what does the research say about infant massage for preemies? For the first time, body massage has been shown to affect brain development in human infants, and tactile stimulation has been shown to influence visual development in these babies. A study published in the May 2009 Journal of Neuroscience finds that massage accelerates brain development and the maturation of visual functioning in preterm babies. The research team, working with a cohort of preterm Italian infants with a gestational age between 30 and 33 weeks, found that EEG maturation, as well as visual system development, was accelerated in the massaged infants, compared to their non-massaged control group. Larger studies will be needed to replicate these findings.


Information is reported as provided and does not necessarily represent the view of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. A complete copy of HMHB's disclaimer is available on our website.