November is National Prematurity Awareness Month

If you’ve decided to have a baby, the most important thing you can do is to take good care of yourself so you and your baby will be healthy. Girls who get the proper care and make the right choices have a very good chance of having healthy babies.

Prenatal Care

See a doctor as soon as possible after you find out you’re pregnant to begin getting prenatal care (prenatal care is medical care during pregnancy). The sooner you start to get medical care, the better the chances that you and your baby will be healthy.

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The serious problem of premature birth

Prematurity Campaign partners and alliances

Every year, more than half a million babies are born too soon in the United States. Our country’s premature birth rate has risen by 36 percent over the last 25 years. That’s serious cause for concern.

Premature birth costs society more than $26 billion a year and takes a high toll on families. Babies born just a few weeks early are at risk of severe health problems and lifelong disabilities. Premature birth is the number 1 killer of newborns.

Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait®

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Safe sleep for your baby

Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day. So it’s important to make sure that where and how they sleep are safe. Safe sleep can help protect babies from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related dangers, like suffocation (not being able to breathe).

How can you lower your baby’s chances of SIDS or other sleep-related dangers?

Here are some things you can do to help keep your baby safe when she sleeps:

Where to put your baby to sleep

  • Put your baby to sleep on his back on a flat, firm surface, like a crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet. Use only the More >