In Minnesota, one in 10 babies is born prematurely (prior to 37 weeks). In recognition of Prematurity Awareness Month, the outside of St. Cloud Hospital will be lit up with pink and blue lights Nov. 11-17. Inside, the Children’s Center also will be decorated to honor and recognize the sickest and tiniest of babies.
In 2011, 301 babies were cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Cloud Hospital. The Level III NICU had the first March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program in Minnesota. NICU Family Support was launched at St. Cloud Hospital in 2006 and continues to enhance family-centered care and support for families each year by:
• Providing information and comfort to families during the NICU hospitalization of their newborns, during the transition home and in the event of a newborn death.
• Contributing to NICU staff professional development.
• Promoting the philosophy of family-centered care.
In Minnesota, the March of Dimes is supporting hospital efforts to end non-medically necessary deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation. Providers and staff of the St. Cloud Women & Children’s Center are working closely with a statewide initiative with the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services to support policies to reduce inducing women prior to 39 weeks if there is no medical reason to do so. Full term pregnancies are best for moms and babies.