Every year nearly four million babies are born in the United States. All babies, whether they are born early or on time, benefit from advances in prenatal and postpartum care made possible by the March of Dimes.
Since 1970, March for Babies has been the biggest fundraiser for the March of Dimes in Albuquerque – last year’s event raised $169,000 with the donations going to support the March of Dimes local efforts as well as support the five national Prematurity Research Centers.
This year, the March for Babies will be held on Saturday, May 6 on Johnson Field. Registration will be at 10 a.m. and the walk starts at 11:30 a.m. Visit bit.ly/marchforbabiesABQ for more information or to register.
“Annually, in New Mexico 25,800 babies are born. Of these babies, 2,448 are born preterm, 782 are born with a birth defect, and 139 die before reaching their first birthday, said Lori Medik, executive director of Market Development for the March of Dimes. "Pre-term birth alone costs our state $126 million a year, and approximately $26 billion nationally. We care about all babies and March for Babies is an opportunity for each of us to make a difference.”
For the past four years, UNM Hospital has sponsored the event; and this year dozens of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, staff members and Health Sciences Center (HSC) students plan to take part.
“UNMH does a lot of research for prematurity. Since we are the only level 3 - 4 newborn intestive care hospital in the state, we have all the equipment and knowledge necessary to handle premature or new born births that require special services," said Katherine Johnson, unit director of UNMH Newborn ICU. "March of Dimes does a lot of research on prematurity that is directly related to helping UNMH care for these babies."
UNMH will have an information table set up at the event, educating participants on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The hospital was behind the recent push in state legislature, making it a requirement for all birthing centers in New Mexico to educate expectant parents on the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Gov. Susanna Martinez signed the law within the last month. UNMH will also be offering information on the importance of breastmilk, save sleep, car seats and other topics related to caring for a newborn baby.