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Press Release

County Gets Funding to Help Provide Community Education Regarding Premature Births

February 11, 2004

Pregnant women in the county will be better able to identify signs of preterm labor (labor before 37 weeks gestation) and other danger signs of pregnancy, thanks to a new grant that helps educate women about these topics.

The March of Dimes Northern California Chapter awarded a grant worth $21,550 to the Contra Costa Health Services' Family, Maternal and Child Health Programs (FMCH) to raise awareness among providers about educating patients to identify signs of preterm labor and get quick access to care as soon as they recognize the signs.

"Prematurity is the leading cause of death in the first month of life in the United States. Recognizing the early signs of preterm labor is key to getting the timely care that helps both mother and infant stay healthy," says Dawn Dailey, Nurse Manager with FMCH.

Dailey points out that one out of ten live births in California is premature. Yet providers can help pregnant women become vigilant for signs of preterm labor, such as premature contractions (they don't have to be painful) every ten minutes or more frequently, the feeling that the baby is pushing down, vaginal bleeding or leaking, low dull backache or cramps. "The grant will allow us to produce patient education videos in English and Spanish that focus on identifying signs like these," she says.

In addition to the videos, Dailey said the grant would fund FMCH to make "Grand Rounds" at local hospitals and site visits with local providers to raise provider awareness about educating patients on the signs of preterm labor and danger signs during pregnancy, and provide information on client resources regarding these issues.

"We will also develop and distribute education resource kits to providers that contain comprehensive yet easy-to-read materials that can be used by providers and patients alike," says Dailey.

For more information, call Dawn Dailey, Public Health Nurse Manager, at 925-313-6325.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies.

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Press Contact
  • Dawn Dailey
  • 925-313-6325