Friday, October 16, 2009

BLOGGERSUNITE.ORG Partners with March of Dimes in the Fight for Preemies

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — BloggersUnite.org, a social awareness initiative supported by 200,000 BlogCatalog.com members, is partnering with March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, to expand a global social awareness campaign about the need to prevent premature birth and give all babies a healthy start.

The campaign, Bloggers Unite: Fight For Preemies, asks bloggers from all over the world to post on the same day – Prematurity Awareness Day – on behalf of the more than 13 million babies who are born too soon each year worldwide. Collectively, these posts will reach millions of people during November, Prematurity Awareness Month.

Nov. 17 will mark the 7th Annual Prematurity Awareness Day®, a time when March of Dimes volunteers and parents draw attention to the crisis of premature birth (birth before 37 weeks gestation) and its toll on babies and families.

“March of Dimes is the champion for babies, and we are fighting to give all babies a healthy start in life. Bloggers and parents can visit marchofdimes.com/fightforpreemies to learn how they can help,” said Beverly Robertson, national director of the Pregnancy & Newborn Health Education Center at March of Dimes. “We are thrilled to partner with BloggersUnite.org and BlogCatalog members to make Prematurity Awareness Day a featured social media event and to harness the power of the Internet to fight for preemies.”

Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face serious health challenges, such as cerebral palsy, lung problems, and vision and hearing loss. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon (34-36 weeks gestation, also known as late-preterm birth) have higher rates of death and disability than full-term babies.

In addition to promoting the campaign with the help of millions of volunteers, supporters, and celebrities, March of Dimes will be working with BlogCatalog to provide source material for bloggers. Several topics include: the escalating rate of prematurity (36 percent in the last two decades); the increasing need for research in the field of prematurity to help reduce risks and long-term complications; and help more women learn how they can reduce the risk of premature birth.

“Since its inception in 2007, BloggersUnite has truly evolved into a member-driven social awareness campaign that is conceived, promoted, and supported by tens of thousands of bloggers,” says Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog and co-founder of Bloggers Unite. “We are thrilled about their support of March of Dimes and the cause of premature birth, especially because one of our co-founders experienced the hardship of having a premature baby firsthand.”

Berkman added that bloggers will be highlighting premature birth from many different angles. Some may discuss the importance of early and regular prenatal care, while other may focus on the financial and emotional burden placed on families. He expects some bloggers may even share personal stories that have yet to be covered by mainstream media.

Bloggers are encouraged but not required to register their blogs at BloggersUnite.org and visit the event page for BloggersUnite: Fight For Preemies. This page offers a growing assortment of badges, videos and support material for bloggers, future parents and pregnant women.

The March of Dimes is the leading organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit the March of Dimes website.

Since 2007, BloggersUnite has evolved from a BlogCatalog member initiative into a member-driven online community where bloggers can unite and coordinate activities for dozens of causes. Every year, the founders of BloggersUnite.org, together with BlogCatalog members, dedicate additional time and resources to three underserved causes.

An amazing opportunity for bloggers to create awareness and support for a very worthy cause. They are asking so little -- just one post dedicated to March of Dimes -- we will be joining in, we hope you will too.

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