Archive for the ‘MOD’ Category

Nacersano.org, our Spanish-language site

Monday, March 31st, 2014

nacersano homepage

Hispanic women have babies at a greater rate each year than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States, making this population the fastest growing group. And now, Spanish-speaking women and families can easily find much-needed information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby online at nacersano.org.

Nacersano.org, the March of Dimes Spanish-language site, offers valuable information on the specific health needs of the Hispanic community, including on the importance of folic acid, a B vitamin that helps prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (NTDs).

Babies born to Hispanic women are about 20 percent more likely to have a neural tube defect than non-Hispanic white women. While this disparity is not well understood, one reason may be that Hispanic women have a lower intake of folic acid. In the United States, wheat flour is fortified with folic acid, but corn masa flour is not.

The March of Dimes, through its educational print and online initiatives, is working to raise awareness about the need for folic acid among Hispanic women. All women of childbearing age, whether or not they’re planning to get pregnant, should take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, beginning before pregnancy and continuing into the early months of pregnancy. This is the best way to get the recommended amount of folic acid to prevent NTDs. Eating foods rich in folate (the natural form of folic acid) or fortified with folic acid is another way to consume this essential vitamin.

Visitors to nacersano.org can find dozens of recipes from various Latin America cultures that provide at least 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of folic acid. Users can also submit their own folic acid rich recipes to the site.

“It’s such an easy thing to make folic acid a part of your daily routine, and it can provide a major benefit to your future family,” says José F. Cordero, MD, MPH, dean of the School of Public Health University of Puerto Rico and a member of the March of Dimes national Board of Trustees. “About half of pregnancies are unplanned, so women should take folic acid daily to give your babies the healthiest start in life.”

Nacersano.org also features hundreds of health articles, ovulation and due date calculators, and educational videos to help Hispanic women and families be healthy before, during and after pregnancy.

Visitors can also ask questions about folic acid and nutrition, preconception, pregnancy and baby health. March of Dimes health experts provide personalized answers by email within 48 hours in Spanish and English. Visitors can also sign up to receive monthly free newsletters on preconception and pregnancy health, read and comment on the blog, and stay connected through various social media channels.

So, if you’re more comfortable with the Spanish language, “like” us on Facebook.com/nacersano and follow us on @nacersano and @nacersanobaby on Twitter.

Anne Geddes supports March of Dimes

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Jack Holding Maneesha

World-renowned photographer Anne Geddes is lending her talent to support the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign and World Prematurity Day 2014. She will be taking an exclusive image this week that will be released specifically for the campaign in November. We couldn’t be more thrilled!

Ms. Geddes is a longtime advocate for children and babies, and says the issue of preterm birth is close to her heart. One of her earliest and most iconic images is this one called “Jack Holding Maneesha,” a photograph of a baby born prematurely at 28 weeks. This year, Maneesha celebrates her 21st birthday.

If you want to know more about this exciting collaboration, read our news release.

Watchdog group honors March of Dimes

Friday, February 28th, 2014

We are thrilled to announce that the March of Dimes is being honored as a top charity by Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar. Philanthropedia is a web-based nonprofit group that rates charities according to their financial responsibility and outstanding work, helping donors to give wisely. Philanthropedia’s panel of 74 experts identified the March of Dimes as 1 of 16 high-impact nonprofits working in the field of people with disabilities, and named it second in that category.

“We are pleased and humbled to be cited by Philanthropedia experts as a top nonprofit in our field,” says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

Starting in 1955 with a signature victory to eliminate polio in the United States, the March of Dimes has led many successful public health campaigns that improved infant health, including:

• Reducing serious birth defects of the brain and spine by 26 percent through folic acid fortification of the nation’s grain foods in the late 1990s;

• Bringing mandatory newborn screening programs to every state to ensure that each baby is tested for more than 30 conditions that, if undetected and untreated, can lead to serious disability or death;

• Launching a nationwide prematurity prevention campaign. The March of Dimes recently announced that the U.S. preterm birth rate dropped for the sixth consecutive year in 2012 to 11.5 percent, a 15-year low.

In addition to this new honor, the March of Dimes is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and meets all 20 standards listed on the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Web site Give.org.

“We are very proud of our fiscal stewardship,” added Dr. Howse. “We receive financial support from more than 3 million volunteers, thousands of corporate sponsors, and state and federal agencies. With this support, we fund the innovative research, education, and community programs that are designed to deliver results and bring us closer to that day when every baby in every community is born healthy.”

Prematurity Research Initiative

Friday, January 31st, 2014

In 2005, the March of Dimes began the Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI), which funds research into the causes of prematurity. More than $15 million has been awarded to 43 grantees over the past 6 years. Some PRI grantees are exploring how genetics or a combination of genetic and environmental factors may influence a woman’s chances of going into labor prematurely. Others are examining how infections may trigger early labor. One of every three premature births can be attributed an infection in a woman’s uterus, which may have presented with no symptoms.

Treating preterm labor –
PRI grantees also are exploring new ways to treat preterm labor. Some are studying how the body normally suppresses uterine contractions until a baby reaches full term, so that new drugs can be developed to prevent or stop preterm labor.

Saving preemies’ lives –
In addition to PRI support, the March of Dimes funds prematurity research through its national research program. Grantees are improving the care of premature babies by developing new ways to help prevent or treat common complications of prematurity. For example, researchers helped develop surfactant treatment, which has saved tens of thousands of premature babies with breathing problems.

Transdisciplinary research centers –
A novel approach to address the complex problem of preterm birth and the resulting prematurity is a transdisciplinary effort within which many diverse disciplines work together by integrating research. By working together, they can examine this problem from new perspectives in ways that individual studies do not allow. The March of Dimes has established the first transdisciplinary research center and plans to promote the establishment of several more.

Our new national ambassador

Monday, January 27th, 2014

2014-ambassador-aidan

The March of Dimes is excited to introduce our 2014 National Ambassador, six year old Aidan Lamothe. Born 12 weeks early, Aidan weighed just 3 lbs and spent 7 weeks in a NICU receiving treatments for breathing problems, his low birthweight, and other prematurity related issues.

Each year on his birthday, Aidan visits the NICU and says “thank you” to the doctors and nurses. Even as a young child, he understood how serious it is to be born prematurely and decided he wanted to volunteer to tell his story to help others. As our National Ambassador, he will travel with his parents to help raise funds and awareness for premature birth.

Welcome Aidan!

You don’t know what you don’t know

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

woman-on-laptopYes. That makes sense. No, I’m not being funny. You don’t know what you don’t know.

This is why we have updated our website to include article libraries for each subject category or topic. We have hundreds of articles on our website, on topics such as pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth and after birth, health problems, caring for your baby, your baby’s health, complications, loss and grief, research, advocacy, and much more.

When you search our website and read an article, a box appears to the right of the text titled “In this topic” where you will find other articles related to your topic. At the bottom of the box you can click on “See all in library” where you will then see additional articles, common questions and special features, on your topic.

Once you see all of the titles in the library, you may realize that you need to know more about a topic. Simply click on it to read all about it. For example, here is our article library for Getting ready for pregnancy. Until you see all of the other topics in the article library, you may not know what you don’t know!

We hope this info helps you in your knowledge search and that you find it easy to navigate. We’d love to hear your comments!

Happy reading.

PREEMIE Act signed into law

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

On Nov. 27th, President Barack Obama signed into law S. 252, the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, a bill to reauthorize federal research, education and intervention activities related to preterm birth and infant mortality.

“The PREEMIE Act represents the federal government’s commitment to reducing the devastating toll of preterm birth,” stated Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes.  “By signing this bill into law, President Obama has enabled vital research and education on the prevention of prematurity to continue.  The March of Dimes is deeply grateful to him, as well as the authors of the PREEMIE Act – Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) – for their tireless efforts to ensure that no baby is born too soon.

“Today, one in every nine U.S. infants is born preterm.  Due to concerted efforts by the March of Dimes and our partners, this number has gone down for the past six consecutive years, but it is still too high.  Prematurity can lead to a host of adverse health consequences for these babies and place a terrible strain on their families.  In addition, preterm birth carries a significant cost to businesses and our economy.  The average premature birth costs 12 times as much as a healthy birth.  The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act will sustain the vital federal investment in promoting healthy pregnancies, healthy infants, and healthy families.”

Preterm delivery can happen to any pregnant woman; in many cases, the cause of preterm birth is unknown. Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal death, and those babies who survive are more likely to suffer from intellectual and physical disabilities. In addition to its human, emotional, and financial impact on families, preterm birth places a tremendous economic burden on the nation.  A 2006 report by the Institute of Medicine found the cost associated with preterm birth in the United States was $26.2 billion annually, or $51,600 per infant born preterm. Employers, private insurers and individuals bear approximately half of the costs of health care for these infants, and another 40 percent is paid by Medicaid.

S. 252 was endorsed and strongly supported by a wide range of organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the National Association of City and County Health Officers, and more.

The original PREEMIE Act (P.L. 109-450) brought the first-ever national focus to prematurity prevention.  The Surgeon General’s Conference on the Prevention of Preterm Birth required by the Act generated a public-private agenda to spur innovative research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and support evidence-based interventions to prevent preterm birth. The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act reauthorizes critical federal research, education and intervention activities related to preterm birth and infant mortality.

We are thankful for all of you

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

baby-in-isolette2

We’re thankful for so many things, but especially for you, the great family of March of Dimes volunteers. Thanks so much to all of you who helped us spread the word this month about the seriousness of premature birth. People wrote blog posts and shared their stories at length, or in shorter posts on our Facebook pages, or sent photos or lots of tweets. We’re very grateful for your energy and support.

The efforts of our friends and volunteers are what make this organization strong and resolved to push even harder for research into the problems that threaten the health of babies. To all of you and your families, our thanks and sincere best wishes.

Happy Hannukah!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

lighting-hanukkah-candles

 

The weekly series on Delays and Disabilities – How to get help for your child will return next week.

What is a Child Psychologist?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

psychologyA Psychologist is a professional who specializes in understanding why people do what they do. They examine the relationships between brain function, environment, and behavior.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “Psychologists study both normal and abnormal functioning and treat patients with mental and emotional problems. They also study and encourage behaviors that build wellness and emotional resilience.” A Child Psychologist focuses specifically on children and teenagers.

Are there different kinds of psychologists?

Yes. There are many subspecialties within the field of psychology. Here are a few kinds of psychologists that might be particularly helpful to a child and family:

     • Clinical psychologists – they diagnose and treat a range of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.  They offer psychotherapy (talk therapy) to work through problems and issues.
     • Developmental psychologists – they specialize in the many changes that occur with aging, especially developmental issues in childhood and adolescence.
     • Neuropsychologist – they specialize in the relationship between the brain and behavior. They may use imaging techniques to help with their work (such as PET, SPECT and fMRI scans). They diagnose and treat a wide range of disorders.
     • Rehabilitation psychologists – they help individuals with developmental disabilities, CP, epilepsy, autism, intellectual disabilities and those negatively affected by a trauma or accident, to adapt and improve their lives.
     • School psychologists – they work in pre-schools, elementary, middle and high schools. They provide testing for children with learning or behavioral issues, counsel students and work with families and school staff to help children learn and socialize effectively.

To learn about the other kinds of psychologists, see the APA’s descriptions.

What kind of problems do psychologists treat?

Psychologists may specialize in different areas and treat issues from mild to severe.  Here are some examples of their areas of expertise:

     • Developmental delays and disabilities
     • Behavior problems
     • Conducting psychological and educational testing
     • Diagnosing and treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ADD and ADHD (attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity), autism, PDD (pervasive developmental delay), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), learning disabilities, phobias
     • Parenting challenges and family issues
     • Stress, trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
     • Sleep disorders
     • Self abuse
     • Domestic violence
and many other issues or mental illnesses.

What kind of training do psychologists have?

Psychologists earn a doctorate degree – either a PhD or a PsyD (which is why they are called “Doctor”). This means that after 4 years of college, they go on for graduate study for 5 to 7 years. Then, states require a one or two year internship to obtain a license to practice psychology.

Is a psychologist different from a therapist?

A person can practice psychotherapy without a doctorate degree  (PhD or PsyD). For example, a clinical social worker (CSW) is an individual who completes a master’s degree and at least 2 years of additional training to become a licensed psychotherapist. 

How is a psychologist different from a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) who has then gone on for several years of additional training to specialize in the field of psychiatry. As a medical doctor, a psychiatrist can write prescriptions for drugs. A psychologist is not a medical doctor, so he is not able to write prescriptions (although some states are beginning to allow psychologists to write prescriptions after additional training in pharmacology).

Both a psychiatrist and a psychologist offer psychotherapy, although there are some psychiatrists who primarily limit their practices to medication management. Many psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists work together to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for a child.

Where can you find a psychologist?

To find a psychologist in your area, ask your child’s health care provider for a referral. Or, go to the APA’s Psychologist Locator where you can search by location as well as area of specialization and ages served (such as a child psychologist).

Bottom line

A psychologist can be a lifeline to your child in diagnosing and treating different conditions or disorders, and an enormous help to you and your family in managing the associated challenges.

Note:  This post is part of the weekly series Delays and disabilities – how to get help for your child. It was started in January and appears every Wednesday. Go to News Moms Need and click on “Help for your child” on the menu on the right side to view all of the blog posts to date. As always, we welcome your comments and input.

Have questions? Send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.com.