Preemie Matters - March 2012

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Mark Your Calendar for Connections 2012! • Parents of Preemies Day Recognizes Courage & Commitment • Research: 80% of Women Have NICU Nearby • Partner Profile: Mommies of Miracles • FDA Approves Drug to Prevent Breathing Disorder in Preterm Infants • Study: Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Increased Prematurity Risk

Mark Your Calendar for Connections 2012!

The National Premature Infant Health Coalition (NPIHC) will host Connections 2012 on June 14-15 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This annual meeting will include a range of collaborative activities, including educational sessions, networking events and introduction of new communication tools. Join colleagues from local, state and national organizations. We hope you can make it! For more information or to register, contact Andrea Goodman at To book a room at the Phoenix Park Hotel, enter the group code 16652 on their website.

Parents of Preemies Day Recognizes Courage & Commitment

The first-ever Parents of Preemies Day - set for March 23, 2012 - will build support for parents, recognizing the courage it takes to stay strong and resilient when premature birth turns a family's world upside down. This observance, produced by Graham's Foundation with a number of supporting organizations and sponsors, includes the delivery of thousands of NICU care packages designed specifically for the parents of premature babies to every Level 3 NICU in the United States and Canada. It will also mark the unveiling of a "Hope, Resilience & Miracles" banner showcasing the photos of parents and their preemies submitted to the Parents of Preemies Day Facebook page. The special observance will also be topped off with events for preemie parents in Toledo, Ohio.

Research: 80% of Women Have NICU Nearby

According to a study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology and covered by Reuters, only 80% of U.S. women ages 18 to 39 live within a one-hour drive of a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Access varies geographically, with the most dramatically limited access in Alaska and in "non-coastal" Western states including Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Partner Profile: Mommies of Miracles

Mommies of Miracles is a peer-driven support group of mothers who have children of any age with complex medical issues, rare or undiagnosed conditions, and/or developmental disabilities. Their mission: Eliminating the isolation mothers of exceptional-needs children experience by providing an extended network of resources, products and services, grief support, family matching and more. They also support localized MOMgroups, bringing together moms from nearby communities for real-time connection and support.

FDA Approves Drug to Prevent Breathing Disorder in Preterm Infants

Earlier this month the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Surfaxin for the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), a breathing disorder affecting premature infants. Most babies who develop this syndrome show signs of breathing problems and a lack of oxygen at birth or within the first few hours after birth. Because the lungs of preemies are not able to make enough surfectant - the liquid that coats the inside of the lungs - the lungs collapse and the infant has difficulty breathing. Surfaxin is the fifth drug approved in the United States to treat this condition in babies born preterm.

Study: Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Prematurity Risk

New research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry and covered by TIME magazine found that the nearly eight percent of U.S. women who take antidepressants during pregnancy face twice the risk of preterm birth and are more likely to have babies with reduced head size, compared to depressed women who did not take medication. Pregnant women with untreated depression were more likely to give birth to infants with both smaller body size and reduced fetal head growth. Antidepressant drugs in the study included those in the same class as Prozac and Zoloft - the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These findings add to the debate about the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, with many clinicians urging women that the risks to both mother and baby from untreated depression continue to outweigh those posed by SSRI use.


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.