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Petition for Preemies November 18, 2008 9:07 PM

November is Premature Awareness Month!

Today more than 1,400 babies in the U.S. will be born prematurely. Many will be too small and too sick to go home.

Instead, they face weeks or even months in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complication, and death.

The 2008 Petition for Preemies raises awareness of the crisis in premature birth and catapults the issue to the top of the health care agenda. In the United States today, more newborns die from premature birth than any other cause, and millions of children face serious health challenges or have trouble learning in school because they were born too soon.

The petition calls for: expanded federal support for prematurity-related research to uncover causes of premature birth leading not only to strategies for prevention, but improved care and outcomes for preterm infants, expanded access to health coverage for women of childbearing age and support for smoking cessation programs as part of maternity care, and promotion of workplaces that support maternal and infant health.

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