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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


MUSC joins fight for preemies

Every year, more than half a million babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick. Babies who survive often face serious health challenges and can suffer from lasting disabilities.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month, Nov. 17 is Prematurity Awareness Day, and MUSC is partnering with the March of Dimes to protect our smallest patients and reduce the rate of premature birth.
There are several contributing factors to premature birth, such as women of childbearing age who are uninsured and those who smoke. Recommendations for improvement are given in each of these areas, for example, federal and state support of smoking cessation as part of maternity care. Another key recommendation is for hospitals and health care professionals to voluntarily assess Caesarean-sections and inductions that occur prior to 39 weeks to ensure consistency with professional guidelines. Babies born even a few weeks early are at greater risk of serious problems and re-hospitalization.
“The medical treatment of preterm labor has largely not been very successful, particularly as the cervix becomes more dilated,” said Jill Mauldin, M.D., Perinatal service line medical director. “As a result, a patient’s best weapon to preventing preterm birth is knowledge of the signs and symptoms of preterm labor so that she can adjust her activity level accordingly and contact her provider when she has those symptoms.”
To educate more women in the community on those signs and symptoms, Mauldin gives a weekly update on what to expect in pregnancy in her “Pregnancy Week by Week podcast series; Women and Infant Services and the MUSChealth Web site recently took silver for the Best in Class Innovators Award category at the Greystone Client Conference for these weekly pregnancy podcasts.
In addition to educational efforts, MUSC bolsters March of Dimes’ mission through fundraising. The MUSC March of Dimes team, March for Babies, hosts several fundraising events throughout the year, such as Blue Jeans for Babies and various bake sales. This year’s Chef Auction held Oct. 29 raised more than $83,000 for March of Dimes.
For more information about premature birth, to find out what you can do to help raise awareness, make a donation, or create a virtual band to honor a baby visit

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.