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March of Dimes Honors Babies on 'El Dia de Todos los Santos'
Date:11/1/2007

is the leading cause of newborn death."

Nationwide, more than a half million babies are born too soon each year and babies who do survive face lifelong health risks and developmental challenges. Premature births (birth before 37 weeks gestation) in the United States have increased more than 30 percent since 1981, and in 2004 more than 520,000 infants were born too soon.

In California, nearly 11 percent of babies -- more than 50,000 -- were born premature in 2004, an increase of about 7 percent over the previous decade.

"Having a premature baby is very painful; imagine having three clinging to life?" asked Mr. Perez. "Our babies were being cared for at different hospitals. One day, I got emergency calls from both hospitals saying my babies were very sick. I didn't know where to go. They were all my children and they needed me there."

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at http://marchofdimes.com or its Spanish language Web site at http://nacersano.org.


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SOURCE March of Dimes
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