Preemie Matters – November 2012

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Oklahoma Infant Alliance's Late Preterm Infant Toolkit • Prematurity Awareness Month • Minnesota Prematurity Coalition & the Discharge Planning Checklist for Late Premature Infants • World Prematurity Day on Facebook • Improving Breast Milk Feeding Rates for Preemies in California NICUs 

NPIHC Webinar: Oklahoma Infant Alliance's Late Preterm Infant Toolkit

Join the National Premature Infant Health Coalition TOMORROW, Thursday, November 15th at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, for a webinar on the Oklahoma Infant Alliance Late Preterm Infant Toolkit. Oklahoma has an unacceptable rate of preterm deliveries at 13.8%, with over three-fourths of those born late preterm (10%) by the last data from the March of Dimes. The Oklahoma Infant Alliance sought to meet the needs of this vulnerable population through the development of a toolkit for use in hospitals and agencies who work with the late preterm infant. This webinar will describe the identified problem, the process of development of a clinical practice guideline based on current evidence-based resources and research, and final content of the Late Preterm Toolkit for physicians, allied health, and families with a goal of reduction of morbidities associated with late preterm birth. Register today!

Prematurity Awareness Month

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, focusing the nation's attention on preterm birth. On November 13, March of Dimes released its 2012 Premature Birth Report Card, revealing that while the U.S. preterm birth rate continues to decline, we still earn an overall grade of "C" and face significant need for improvement. This month March of Dimes also leads a petition to "Light the White House Purple" as a symbol of hope to preemie families, and they are bringing together advocates asking Congress for passage of the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act. On November 17, World Prematurity Day, March of Dimes and partner organizations worldwide are asking everyone to help spread the word about the serious problem of preterm birth. Be sure to let us know what YOU or your organization did to mark this important health observance!

Minnesota Prematurity Coalition & the Discharge Planning Checklist for Late Premature Infants

The Minnesota Prematurity Coalition's mission is reducing premature births in the state and advocating for infants who are born prematurely and their families. Founded in 2009, they have actively worked with community partners and organizations to bring awareness to this very important issue. In 2011, the Minnesota Legislature passed a statute creating the Minnesota Task Force on Prematurity. Members of the Prematurity Coalition as well as members of the Legislature, Department of Health and Department of Education all serve on the Task Force.

After surveying hospitals throughout the state, the Task Force discovered a great need for information on the treatment and discharge requirements of the late preterm infant. In September 2012, the finalized Discharge Planning Checklist for Late Premature Infants was distributed.

The Task Force is currently working on a final report to the Minnesota Legislature, due in January 2013, which will include evidence-based recommendations to reduce prematurity in Minnesota - including any draft legislation necessary for implementation. Find information including meeting dates, action items and resources at the website, or contact Coalition Manager Bonnie Hansen at 320-290-4909 or

World Prematurity Day on Facebook

This year the observance of World Prematurity Day has a significant social media component, bringing together partners, supporters and families from around the globe in a collaborative digital space. Check out the World Prematurity Day page on Facebook, where you can read stories from around the world and share your own, watching the virtual world map light up when new stories are added to the communal narrative. Join the effort by updating your own Facebook status to help others understand the problem, changing your Facebook cover image, or grabbing a badge for your blog or website.

Improving Breast Milk Feeding Rates for Preemies in California NICUs

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics examines how California hospitals improved breast milk feeding rates for very low-birthweight preemies. Eleven NICUs in the California Perinatal Quality of Care Collaborative participated in an Institute for Healthcare Improvement-style collaborative to increase NICU breast milk feeding rates. Over the 12-month study and subsequent six-month follow-up period, the 11 participating hospitals increased their rates of breast milk feeding for NICU babies at discharge from 55 percent to 64 percent, bringing these hospitals up to the average rates for the state. Participating hospitals also reduced the rate of a serious complication of prematurity - the bowel disease known as necrotizing enterocolitis - by two-thirds, from seven percent to about two percent of all infants in their NICUs. Among the important changes hospitals made: Increasing babies' skin-to-skin time with their mothers and improving the education of NICU staff about breast milk feeding.


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.