Preemie Matters - July 2011

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Study: Mom's Asthma & Prematurity Risk  •  Second Annual Preemie Parent Summit Set for November  •  WSJ Spotlights NICU Quality Improvement  •  Partner Spotlight: Holding Tiny Hands Foundation  •  UC Irvine Recruits Participants for Research on Prematurity & First-Time Moms

Study: Mom's Asthma & Prematurity Risk

A new study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and covered by BBC News finds that women with poorly-managed asthma are at significantly increased risk for preterm birth, giving birth to a low-birthweight baby and experiencing preeclampsia. The study's authors - who reviewed data published between 1975 and 2009 involving more than one million women - recommend that women with asthma be monitored at least monthly during pregnancy.

Second Annual Preemie Parent Summit Set for November

The National Alliance of Preemie Parents is gearing up for its second annual Preemie Parent Summit, which will bring together the Alliance's founding members to chart a course for the future and expand the organization's membership. Speakers for the November event in Atlanta, Ga include Mike Hynan from National Perinatal Association; Judy Meehan from National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) and Yamile Jackson from Zakeez. The National Alliance of Preemie Parents, co-founded last year by preemie mom and Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation president Keira Sorrells, brings together preemie parent support organizations doing great work across the country. Together they are forming a strong voice of advocacy for the parents of babies born too soon. To learn more or to sponsor the Summit, contact Keira Sorrells at

WSJ Spotlights NICU Quality Improvement

This month's Wall Street Journal story, "Small Steps: How Hospitals Save More Preemie Lives," puts the spotlight on hospitals reconsidering longtime protocols of care and incorporating the latest science. The story featured the "10,000 Babies" campaign launched in 125 hospitals in 2009 by Pediatrix, aiming to improve quality of NICU care. It's one of 10 neonatal quality improvement programs in the US approved by the American Board of Pediatrics. Research suggests that such programs can reduce the risk of complications and the use of costly medications.

Partner Spotlight: Holding Tiny Hands Foundation

NICU parents at at Des Moines, Iowa's Mercy Medical Center and Blank Children's Hospital have an ally and support network in the form of the Holding Tiny Hands Foundation, a nonprofit co-founded by moms of preemies Lexi Faber and and Susan Selby. Their mission: providing a peer-based continuum of support, from NICU through discharge and beyond, to the parents of micro-preemies and infants with chronic health issues. Among other programs, they have served 500 parents at monthly meals at hospital NICUs, encouraging families to get a break and connect with others going through similar experiences. This fall they plan to launch a NICU gift bag program and playcare groups for older siblings.

UC Irvine Recruits Participants for Research on Prematurity & First-Time Moms

The University of California-Irvine is interviewing participants for a study on preterm birth among first-time mothers, as one of eight academic centers across the country who will monitor 10,000 mothers-to-be. Lead research physician Dr. Deborah Wing says first-time moms account for about 40% of US pregnancies each year, and points to the need to predict a pregnancy's outcome without information from a previous birth. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development sponsor the study.


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.