Preemie Matters - August 2012

In this issue of Preemie Matters  • Vision Development & the Premature Infant Webinar Slides and Audio  •  New Prematurity Brief from Georgetown's MCH Library  •  Preemie Parent Alliance Summit  •  Still Standing  •  Safety of Preemie Birth Modes  •  A Pediatrician's Perspective on NICU Care.

Webinar Slides & Audio: Vision Development & the Premature Infant

Thanks to all who joined our August 9th webinar, "Vision Development and the Link to Overall Development in the Premature Infant" with Glen Steele, O.D. FCOVD. Dr. Steele led a discussion on the most prevalent and significant issues involved in eye and vision care and development during infancy, focusing on early detection and intervention options. He also shared information on incidence of vision problems in preterm infants, how vision links to overall development, current approaches to care and opportunities for parents and providers to positively affect the lives of these children. If you missed the webinar or would like to share its content with colleagues, visit the archived slides and audio online.

New Resource: Prematurity & Preterm Birth Brief from Georgetown's MCH Library

The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University has posted a new resource brief on prematurity and preterm birth. The brief includes links to selected websites, an automated PubMed search that gives the reader the latest research literature from the National Library of Medicine on this topic, and a bibliography of publications from the online catalog of the MCH Library. Access this new resource brief at the MCH Library site.

Partner Event: Preemie Parent Alliance Summit

Registration ends September 1 for the Preemie Parent Alliance's annual summit, which brings together Alliance members and support organizations interested in learning more about this vibrant and growing network. Set for September 20-21, 2012 in Chicago, the summit provides vital networking opportunities and creates opportunities for partnerships across all segments of the prematurity community. Speakers include noted neonatologist and author of For the Love of Babies Dr. Sue Hall, as well as March of Dimes Associate Director of Domestic and Global Partnerships Phyllis Williams-Thompson. Working sessions will be led by preemie mom and PPA member Gigi Khonyongwa-Fernandez. A Thursday evening "Power to Grow" welcome reception will be hosted by PPA members Graham's Foundation and Eli's Hope. The Preemie Parent Alliance meets a unique need, fostering collaborative opportunities for preemie parent support organizations across the country and building relationships between member organizations and the many professional organizations and associations whose work directly affects the care of fragile babies. Learn more, join the Alliance, and register for the summit at the PPA site. Questions? Contact Keira Sorrells at or (601) 345-1772.

Partner Profile: Still Standing

Do you know about Still Standing? The online magazine and support community for those who have lost a child or experienced infertility was created by mom and Preemie Parent Alliance member Franchesca Cox. Its multi-faceted mission: Encouraging individuals and families to embrace life after loss and infertility; connecting individuals and families with others around the world who share similar experiences; and serving as a resource for families, friends, and professionals who support those going through the loss of a child or infertility.

Vaginal Deliveries as Safe as C-Sections for Most Preterm Births

A study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology finds that for most babies born very prematurely, vaginal deliveries are as safe as cesarean sections. The only exception: babies in the breech position who are delivered at less than 32 weeks' gestation had a significantly lower risk of mortality when delivered during a planned c-section. Lead researcher Dr. Uma Reddy of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH said in a journal news release, "Selecting a route of delivery at less than 32 weeks' gestation is a difficult clinical decision, given the high rate of infant mortality and morbidity, as well as the maternal risks associated with Cesarean delivery. This information has direct clinical applications and is crucial for counseling families about the benefits and risks of attempting vaginal delivery in this situation."

'In Preemies, Better Care Means Hard Choice'

An August 13 New York Times op-ed column by pediatrician Dr. Rahul Parikh explores the clinical and emotional challenges facing neonatologists and preemie parents as NICU care, technology, and physician perspective of the tiniest, most fragile preterm babies has evolved. He writes, "In the 1960s, when the first NICUs opened, premature infants had a 95 percent chance of dying. Today, they have a 95 percent chance of survival. This has...changed our perception of the premature baby as 'a patient to be cared for, rather than an object to be pitied."


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.