According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 10 infants born were preterm in 2016. (CDC, 2017). Preterm births put the infant at risk for long lasting health conditions and even death. Infants born preterm and low birth weight are at risk of having problems breathing, developmental delays, vision disturbances, and hearing problems because their organs did not fully develop (CDC, 2017). Here in the United States, African Americans are twice as likely to have an infant born premature than White (CDC, 2017). Teens, women >35 years of age, and women with low income are all at risk to deliver infants with a low birth weight. Women who use tobacco or substance abuse are also at greater risks (CDC, 2017).
This causes a great deal of strain on the healthcare system, but also for the family. Families often need to travel out of town to be with their infant, which causes stress, increased expenses, and loss of income. Once the infant can go home, there may be additional supplies and resources needed to care for their little one, which adds more financial strain on the family. According to the March of Dimes, preterm births costs employers 12.7 billion dollars a year (March of Dimes, 2018).
A community resource that is available in the author’s local community is March of Dimes. The March of Dimes is an organization that has been helping women and their children for 80 years. The March of Dimes focuses on prevention of birth defects and assisting families whose delivery did not go as planned, and their child needs advanced care such as NICU (March of Dimes, 2018). March of Dimes is a great resource from prenatal to after the delivery of their child. March of Dimes has a vast amount of information and resources that are helpful for families caring for a child that is preterm, or has a birth defect.