Preemie Matters – February 2013

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Share Your Latest News with NPIHC • New Insights Into Preemie Brain Injury, New Avenues for Treatment • Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late Preterm Infants • PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Introduced in U.S. Senate • Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network of South Central New York • NPIHC Video in the Making

Share Your Latest News with NPIHC

Friends and colleagues in the prematurity field: Do you have new resources, upcoming events, or other news to share? We want to hear from you! Please send your announcement our way and we can help spread the word via Preemie Matters, the NPIHC website, and the NPIHC Facebook page. For consideration, send email to

New Insights Into Preemie Brain Injury, New Avenues for Treatment

A discovery about brain injury among preemies may open avenues for potential therapies. A study published online in a January issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine finds that low blood and oxygen flow to the developing brain does not--as previously believed--cause an irreversible loss of brain cells. Instead, new findings suggest it disrupts the cells' ability to fully mature. Researchers say the discovery means new possibilities for therapies that would promote regeneration and repair of the premature infant's brain. According to Stephen Back, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher and professor of pediatrics and neurology in the Pap-Family Pediatric Research Institute, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, "We can focus greater attention on developing the right interventions, at the right time early in development, to promote neurons to more fully mature and reduce the often serious impact of preterm birth. We now have a much more hopeful scenario."

Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late Preterm Infants

The National Perinatal Association recently launched the Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late Preterm Infants, a new tool for healthcare providers, parents, case managers, and others involved in the care of babies born between 34-36 6/7 weeks gestation. The guidelines--developed in collaboration with more than 20 healthcare professionals and organizations--provide evidence-based recommendations that focus on the management of late preterm infants from birth through childhood and can be used as a road map that provides guidance for the healthcare team and for families. The guidelines are available free of charge, in an easy-to-navigate PDF format, on the National Perinatal Association website.

PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Introduced in U.S. Senate

On February 7th the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act--bipartisan legislation intended to lower the nation's preterm birth rate--was introduced in the U.S. Senate. Similar legislation was introduced on February 6th in the U.S. House of Representatives. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) introduced the bill, which would advance federal research and promote known interventions and community initiatives to reduce preterm birth and infant mortality caused by prematurity. This newly-introduced legislation is nearly identical to the bills that passed both the House and Senate during the 112th Congress. Congress adjourned before the Senate could reconsider its version with House amendments. The original PREEMIE Act (P.L. 109-450) brought the first-ever national focus to prematurity prevention, and the Surgeon General's Conference on the Prevention of Preterm Birth required by the Act generated a public-private agenda to spur innovative research at NIH and CDC.

Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network of South Central New York

Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network of South Central New York (M&BPN) works to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes in a region encompassing seven counties. As one of 16 New York State Perinatal Networks originally developed with funding from the New York State Department of Health, M&BPN strives to make positive change in health outcomes for women, infants, and families. They provide free or low-cost services for families, regional planning for maternal and child health programs, and education and referral services for individuals and families. They also partner with aligned organizations at the local, regional, and state level and promote policies, programs, and services for parenting families and teens. Additionally, M&BPN offers educational programming on child, family, and teen topics for the community, as well as professional education programs for health and human services. Visit the M&BPN website to learn more about their work.

NPIHC Video in the Making

We are in the final stages of production for a new video spotlighting the important work of the National Premature Infant Health Coalition. In support of the project, we issued an open call for photographs on NPIHC's Facebook page, inviting preemie parents to share snapshots of their children and families, documenting their journeys. We were so moved by the overwhelmingly generous response, and look forward to incorporating as many of these images as possible into the final video. Just another example of how social media is creating new opportunities for connecting, communicating, educating, and advocating in the field of prematurity and maternal and child health. Stay tuned for the video release!


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.