Preemie Matters - July 2010

In this issue of Preemie Matters: No Link Between Moderate Caffeine & Preterm Birth, ACOG Committee Finds  •  Maternit Care Reform Legislation Introduced to Congress  •  New Book: The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU  •  More Data on Late-Preterm Birth Risks

New TV Series Spotlights the NICU Experience

A new series on Discovery Health, NICU, follows the struggles and triumphs of real babies in a neonatal intensive care unit. Families featured in the 10-episode docu-drama series have children who have been born prematurely or with other serious health complications. The series, sponsored by Farmers Insurance and March of Dimes, premiered July 15th. Discovery Health's promotional website for the program also shares information on parenting preemies.

No Link Between Moderate Caffeine & Preterm Birth, ACOG Committee Finds

A recently-released Committee Opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) finds no link between moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy and preterm birth, miscarriage, or restriction of fetal growth. The Committee Opinion, published in the August 2010 edition of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, is intended to put an end to mixed messages pregnant women have typically on this subject. For the purposes of the Committee Opinion, moderate intake is defined as less than 200 mg per day - the amount contained in about 12 ounces of coffee. By comparison, caffeinated tea and most soft drinks of the same size have considerably less caffeine (less than 50 mg), and an average chocolate bar has less than 35 mg. Daily consumption of more than 200 mg of caffeine would be considered high intake - and the impact of high levels of caffeine consumption during pregnancy remains unclear.

Maternity Care Reform Legislation Introduced to Congress

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard of California introduced reform legislation designed to improve healthy outcomes for mothers and babies. The Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services for the 21st Century Act (HR 5807) puts a national focus on evidence-based maternity care. Among other provisions, the bill would establish an Interagency Coordinating Committee charged with promoting best practices, and would authorize a public awareness campaign to educate about the best proven practices for maternity care. The full text of the bill is available online. More about this legislation is available on Congresswoman Roybal-Allard's website.

New Book: The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU

Preemie Magazine founder and former publisher Deb Discenza has teamed up with award-winning director/producer Nicole Conn to create a new guide for parents of preemies, The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU. The book's goal: Sharing the info they themselves would have wanted to receive when their babies were hospitalized in the neonatal ICU. Learn more about the project at

More Data on Late-Preterm Birth Risks

Major media sources including Time magazine are covering the findings of a new study - the largest of its kind - that looks at the health risks of late-preterm birth. Among the findings: Babies born between 34 and 37 weeks' gestation have a significant risk of severe breathing problems, among other elevated risks. These findings contribute to a growing body of research suggesting that even babies born just a few weeks early may face significant health challenges.


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.