Preemie Matters – October 2011

In this issue of Preemie Matters: PREEMIE Act of 2006 Needs Reauthorization Support in Congress  •  Prematurity Prevention Symposium: January 2012 in Washington, DC  •  Study: Preemies Have Higher Autism Risk  •  NICU Journal Helps Families Celebrate Preemie Milestones

PREEMIE Act of 2006 Needs Reauthorization Support in Congress

In an effort to better understand preterm birth as the leading cause of neonatal death - and to improve the health of millions of newborns in the United States - Congress passed the PREEMIE Act in 2006. This legislation has expanded research and other federal activities related to prematurity. The PREEMIE Act of 2006 sunsets later this year and must be reauthorized to continue as active legislation. In response, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has created an online Action Alert to help mobilize professionals, families and advocates in support of the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 1440/H.R. 2679). AWHONN encourages you to email your US Representative and Senators, asking them to support the health of newborns by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Prematurity Prevention Symposium: January 2012 in Washington, DC

Mark your calendar for the Prematurity Prevention Symposium, "Examining National, State, Clinical and Community Efforts," set for January 19-20 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The event is organized by March of Dimes in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). It will bring together healthcare providers, health insurers, policy makers, health purchasers, regulators, public health practitioners and advocates to network, showcase successful prevention programs, share best practices and problem-solve. The Symposium will also launch the Prematurity Prevention Network, a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to preventing prematurity.

Study: Preemies Have Higher Autism Risk

New research published in the journal Pediatrics and reported by Reuters finds that children born preterm face five times the risk of developing autism, compared to peers born full-term. While the study is not the first to report a higher prevalence of autism among low-birthweight babies, it appears to confirm earlier studies using authoritative tools. The findings do not show that being born early necessarily causes autism, but they contribute to questions about whether prematurity puts babies' brains at higher risk for injury - and whether such injury may be related to autism.

NICU Journal Helps Families Celebrate Preemie Milestones

Created by preemie mom Jessica Williams, "A Journey Home" is a comprehensive preemie baby book and NICU Journal helping families document and celebrate milestones. Williams recognized that the parents of many babies born preterm find using traditional baby books frustrating, and wanted to create a way for preemie families to share and remember the unique joys and milestones of a baby's NICU journey, homecoming, and later development, while also building resources. The baby book and NICU journal offer practical information a preemie parent needs, such as conversion charts, important contact information, going-home checklists, and plenty of space for individualized journal entries. For every 10 journals sold, Williams donates a copy to a NICU for distribution to families.


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.