For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY --
During the last week of November, visitors to Martin Medical Center in Stuart were greeted with 142 colorful pinwheels scattered throughout the grassy portion of the hospital's main entrance.
The pinwheels project is part of prematurity awareness month, a campaign launched by Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, the March of Dimes and Martin Health System, to increase awareness about the prevalence of premature births in Martin County.
Each pinwheel represented a premature baby who was born in the county last year. The Martin County Healthy Start Coalition is working hard to assist and educate expectant mothers about the steps they can take to ensure their babies will be born at healthy birth weights.
"We all want to see babies born healthy. When a baby is born after a 39-week pregnancy, the newborn has an increased chance of living a life with fewer health problems," said Scott Berry, Martin County Healthy Start Coalition executive director.
Research has shown babies who are born prematurely are more at risk for developing serious health issues including respiratory and digestive problems, congenital heart defects, vision impairment and learning disabilities.
"Through education and support services, our goal is to decrease the number of premature babies born in Martin County," said Mr. Berry.
"With nearly 12 percent of babies born prematurely in our community, we certainly have something to improve upon. Healthy Start, Martin Health Systems, the March of Dimes and many other organizations and individuals are all working to decrease this number. This is one small way of getting the message out to our community," he said.
For more information, call (772) 463-2888 or visit www.mchealthystart.org.