March of Dimes Partner to Improve Newborn Health

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Most Iowa new moms receive instruction in the hospital on the care of newborns shortly after giving birth. But, how much of that information do they retain and actually put to use? That question will soon be answered thanks to a grant to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) from the March of Dimes.

The $10,000 grant will allow a survey of several hundred new mothers four months after delivery to see if they are caring for the newborns as planned, as well as provide an understanding of the mothers' post-partum behavior. It will also provide insights into possible relationships between lifestyles before birth and poor pregnancy outcomes, such as low birth-weight infants.

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"The survey is invaluable because it will allow us to improve prenatal education programs, especially for those expectant moms at risk of poor pregnancy outcomes," said Jane Borst, head of the IDPH Bureau of Family Health.

The survey will be called the Iowa Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (I-PRAMS) and is expected to have its first results available in spring, 2008.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at www.marchofdimes.com or its Spanish Web site at www.nacersano.org.

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