Preemie Matters – December 2013

In this issue of Preemie Matters: Facebook Chat on Maternal Mental Health & Preemie Moms • PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Becomes Law • Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) • Preemie Dads' Experiences in the NICU • Preterm Births Decline Among Black Americans • Mark Your Calendar for 2014 Conferences

Facebook Chat on Maternal Mental Health & Preemie Moms

Thanks to all who participated in last month's informative and inspiring Facebook chat on the NPIHC page! The November 14 event on maternal mental health and preemie moms featured speakers Dr. Lisa Osborn, Kasey Mathews, Laura Martin, and Michele Rosenthal, and brought together experts in the field and parents who've had first-hand experiences with trauma, depression, and anxiety after a preterm birth. The successful chat had 94 attendees over the course of the hour, 107 comments, and a 92% active engagement rate among attendees. Missed it? You can access the archived conversation on our website or Facebook chat tab.

PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Becomes Law

President Barack Obama signed S. 252, the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, into law on November 27, reauthorizing federal research, education, and intervention activities related to preterm birth and infant mortality. The legislation was authored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Representatives Ann Eshoo (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ). It had broad support from our member organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), and National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN). The original PREEMIE Act brought the first national focus to prematurity prevention, leading to the Surgeon General's Conference on the Prevention of Preterm Birth which generated a public-private agenda for innovative research and support for evidence-based preventive interventions. The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act extends these efforts.

Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP)

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is a national organization dedicated to disseminating best practices, advocating on members' behalf, providing technical assistance, convening leaders, and advising states to reach a common goal of healthy children, families, and communities. AMCHP's members directly serve women and children nationwide by administering critical public health education and screening services, and coordinating preventive, primary and specialty care. The organization also recognizes leadership in maternal and child health in several ways, including annual awards presented to MCH leaders, honoring excellence in the field. These awards will be presented at AMCHP's upcoming Annual Conference.

Preemie Dads' Experiences in the NICU

A new study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN) finds that while the fathers of NICU preemies tend to experience strong emotions, they often don't express them outwardly - a discrepancy that can lead healthcare professionals to under-appreciate dads' needs. The research was a focused ethnography collected between 2003-2006 in the neonatal ICU of a large U.K. teaching hospital, collecting data through participant observation, in-depth interviews with dads, and an ethnographic of NICU staff. The findings showed that preemie fathers worked hard at balancing tensions between what they wanted to feel, what they actually felt, and what they perceived others expected their feelings and behaviors to be. The authors say these insights could help NICU professionals improve communication with and support of dads.

Preterm Births Decline Among Black Americans

Good news for maternal and child health: According to a recent CDC report, preterm births among black Americans fell between the years 2006 and 2010. For non-Hispanic black infants, the prematurity rate was 17.1% in 2010 - down from 18.5% in 2006 - as determined by final birth certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System. Despite this progress, disparities remain a challenge. The preterm birth rate for black babies was still approximately 60% higher than for white babies. Nationally, the preterm birth rate was 12%.

Mark Your Calendar for 2014 Conferences

The new year begins with a number of professional, educational, and networking opportunities for professionals and parent leaders in prematurity. Registration is now open for AMCHP's Annual Conference in Washington, DC, January 25-28. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's Annual Conference takes place February 3-8 in New Orleans, and NEO: The Conference for Neonatology will be in Orlando, February 20-23. Let us know what your organization is planning for 2014, so we can share the news via NPIHC's Facebook page and website.


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.