Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prematurity Awareness Day 2010

November 17th is prematurity awareness day.

Did you know that 1 in 8 pregnancies result in premature birth?

That prematurity is the number one cause of death in newborn babies?

That one of the primary causes of premature birth is lack of access to health insurance and health care.

The March of Dimes did a study to determine the grade for each individual state for addressing concerns which can increase premature births. They also graded the United States as a whole. The three areas they looked at were:

1.) Uninsured women
2.) Smoking while pregnant
3.) Late preterm births (34-36 weeks) due to increased inductions and C-sections.

The state I currently live in scored an F for the above factors. 24% of pregnant women in my state are uninsured or lack access to health care.

I know that supposedly pregnant women always qualify for medicaid but after recently wading the medicaid waters for coverage for Eli & Emerson there are clearly lots of flaws in the system. It took me two months of persistent phone calls, paper work, documents etc. to get Eli & Emerson coverage.

It was impossible to get anyone on the phone to answer questions and then after approval finding a doctor to actually see the babies was nearly impossible, and I have several advantages going for me in navigating the system, that many others don't.

Health care is an issue and it prevents women from proper care during pregnancies where issues can be addressed to help combat prematurity.

I will always be grateful that I had such amazing health care and health insurance during my pregnancy. I had access to a top university hospital and all the doctors that went with it. I had proactive doctors that saw me weekly, monitored me, admitted me to the hospital at the first sign of trouble and I truly believe that's why after my positive fFN at 27 weeks I made it to 32 weeks before delivering the babies. Those extra five weeks were priceless to the overall health of Eli & Emerson.

So today I'm grateful that I had access to healthcare, and I hope that one day affordable health coverage and health care will be a basic right for everybody. Clearly there needs to be some kind of reform.

I am so grateful that my preemies are doing so well today.


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