The annual Chattahoochee Valley March for Babies Walk is on April 25 (Event now virtual at www.marchforbabies.org/event/chattahoocheevalleyga) at Woodruff Park in Columbus. Join more than 450 people at this event that raises money for the organization’s programs. Registration starts at 8:30 am and the walk/run begins at 9:30 am. Lunch will be provided for participants and there will be a fun zone for kids. During the event, there will also be an opportunity to remember angel babies and show support for babies that are fighting health issues or have overcome them.
What is the March of Dimes?
The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that provides support for moms and babies at every stage of pregnancy and post-delivery. The money raised by events such as the Chattahoochee Valley March for Babies Walk helps fund the organization’s mission to fight for healthy moms and babies. One in ten babies in the US is born too early (prematurely). Babies born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) can have serious health issues and may not even survive. Every year, 14,756 babies are born prematurely in Georgia and 7, 090 babies are born prematurely in Alabama. Also, the United States has a maternal morbidity rate that is the highest in the developed world.
Improve the health of moms and babies through research and education
Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death. Pregnancy complications and health issues that existed pre-pregnancy can lead to premature birth. However, in many cases, the exact cause of premature birth is not known. Donations to the March of Dimes help fund research that seeks to understand the causes of premature births and gathers more data on maternal health issues that are known to increase the risk of premature birth.
Current research platforms include:
In the US, this serious pregnancy complication is the cause of about 15% of premature births. Pre-eclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to internal organs, such as the liver.
Issues with the placenta
Conditions such as placental abruption and placenta previa may lead to premature birth. Placental abruption is the partial or complete tearing away of the placenta from the wall of the uterus. Placenta previa is when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix.
Maternal health issues
Conditions such as obesity and diabetes that existed before pregnancy can increase health risks both to mother and baby.
Environmental factors, such as exposure to pollution, may increase the risks of premature birth.
The March of Dimes also funds research into the causes of birth defects and funds programs that provide information to expectant moms about possible ways to reduce the risk of birth defects. Each year in Alabama, 1,780 babies are born with a birth defect and 534 babies die before their first birthday. In Georgia, 3,910 babies are born each year with a birth defect and 972 babies die before their first birthday. One important advancement that resulted from this research is the newborn screening process which is now part of standard care for newborns.
For more information about how you can support moms and babies in the Chattahoochee Valley by participating in the March for Babies, visit marchforbabies.org.