Family Team News

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Fundraising on Social Media!

Looking for resources to help with your March for Babies fundraising on social media? Check out our tips below!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Make Your Fundraising Efforts Stand Out

Raising funds for the March of Dimes is a great way to support stronger, healthier babies AND it’s also a great opportunity to be creative! Here are some great ways to make your fundraising stand out and to get your friends and family excited about donating to your March for Babies efforts.

Ask in a special way – Make your letters and emails to potential donors personal in order to get a larger response. Do you send personal letters to your friends and family updating them on your life and career? Include your March for Babies efforts within your update.  If you are sending letters use colorful envelopes that are impossible to ignore.  Remember to share photos of your team and the reasons you are walking in your letters, emails and on your social networking sites (like Facebook and Twitter).

Share something sweet – Make cookies or other baked goods to thank your friends and family members. Go one step further and bring baked goods or candy to school or work (with permission) and sell them for donations.

Utilize special occasions – Is your birthday or another special occasion coming up? Ask your friends and family to donate as a gift this year. Having a celebration or a get-together? Provide an opportunity for attendees to donate to the March of Dimes right there as a thank you. Go the extra step and have a computer set up allowing people to make online donations right to your March for Babies individual or team page.

Offer rewards – Offer to drive your friends to school or work, carry your friend’s books to class, or clean out your friend’s locker in exchange for a donation to your March for Babies team.

Create competition – Challenge your friends and families to see who can get the most people to donate to your team’s page. Make the challenge public and you will see even greater success!

Say thank you – Thank those for donations in-person, by email/letter and/or through Facebook and Twitter. With administrative approval, publicly thank those who have donated at the beginning or end of a class or even make announcements to the entire school! The more public the thank-you, the better! Your donor can help you promote you walk!

Be creative and think outside the box! What works for some does not for others, and you and your friends and family may have a unique idea! Just be creative and have fun with it! Happy fundraising!

For more creative ways to raise funds, be sure to check out the 2014 March for Babies Youth Captains Guide!

Now let’s hear from you!
What is your best fundraising tip?
What creative ways do you raise funds for the March of Dimes?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why We Walk Wednesday: Mallory's Marchers

Mallory's Marchers is this week's Why We Walk Wednesday team. On May 16, 2008 -- at 32 weeks gestation -- Mallory was born with the birth defect Spina Bifida. A few hours later, she required surgery to close the opening on her back and the implantation of her VP Shunt.  

She stayed at Johns Hopkins NICU for 26 days and needed a ventilator and morphine. Her parents were overjoyed to bring her home. 

Shortly afterwards, Mallory began to receive physical, occupational and speech therapy. 

Now five years old, Mallory is the 2014 March for Babies Ambassador for the Eastern Shore. The photo on the right is from a local March for Babies kickoff, where she wore a special "March for Babies Ambassador" hair accessory.

Mallory is a joy to be around with her positive, independent spirit. She puts a smile on everyone’s face as she maneuvers around in her pink wheelchair. 

We are thrilled to be able to share her smile with you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Smoking in Pregnancy Confirmed As a Cause of Oral Cleft Birth Defects

March of Dimes Urges Women to Quit Before Pregnancy

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., JAN. 17, 2014 A new report from the U.S. Surgeon General confirms that smoking during pregnancy causes babies to be born with cleft lip and cleft palate.
“We now have confirmation that smoking during pregnancy can damage the health of both mothers and babies. By quitting smoking before or during pregnancy, a woman will not only improve her own health; she may save her baby from being born too small and with a serious, disfiguring birth defect,” said Edward R. B. McCabe, MD, March of Dimes Chief Medical Officer. “Smoking during pregnancy exposes the baby to dangerous chemicals such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. These chemicals can reduce how much oxygen the baby gets, affecting the baby’s growth and development.”

“The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress,” was released by the Surgeon General today in honor of the landmark 1964 report that documented the death and disease caused by smoking.

The report also stated that each year about 1,000 infant deaths can be attributed to smoking. Of those, about 40 percent are classified as sudden infant death syndrome, the unexplained death of a baby under a year old while sleeping.

More than 7,000 babies are born in the U.S. each year born with an oral cleft birth defect and smoking increases the risk by 30 to 50 percent; this increased risk can be prevented by quitting smoking. About 23 percent of women smoke during pregnancy.

There are two types of oral cleft defects, a cleft lip, in which a baby's upper lip doesn’t form completely and has an opening in it; and a cleft palate, in which the roof of the mouth doesn’t form completely and has an opening in it. Both cause feeding problems, and may lead to ear infections, hearing problems, difficulty speaking, and dental problems.

In addition to oral cleft defects, smoking during pregnancy is known to contribute to preterm birth and stillbirth.

March of Dimes chapters nationwide fund quit smoking programs for women, and you can learn more from the chapter in your area. The March of Dimes also has information for women about quitting smoking on its website at:

Tips to help quit include:
• Write down your reasons for quitting. Look at the list when you are tempted to smoke.
• Choose a "quit day." On that day, throw away all your cigarettes or cigars, lighters and ashtrays.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Keep your hands busy using a small stress ball or doing some needlework.
• Keep yourself occupied, too. Try going for a walk or doing chores to keep your mind off of cravings.
• Snack on some raw veggies or chew some sugarless gum to ease the need to have something in your mouth.
• Stay away from places, activities or people that make you feel like smoking.
• Ask your partner or a friend to help you quit.
• Ask your health care provider about quitting aids such as patches, gum, nasal spray and medications. Don't start using these without your health care provider's okay, especially if you're pregnant.

For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The 2014 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy’s, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, United Airlines, and Actavis.
Elizabeth Lynch, (914) 997-4286,
Todd Dezen, (914) 997-4608,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March for Babies Family Team Apparel

Customizing March of Dimes Family Team apparel for your team makes your walk unique. We have several options including:

·         National Family Team T-Shirts - The 2014 Family Team logo on the front, personalize the back.

·         Family Team Photo T-Shirt Templates - Templates you can personalize with a team name and photo.

·         Family Team Specialty Items - Items embroidered with the Family Team logo. Available only online.

Visit e a graphics to order your Family Team apparel.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why We Walk Wednesday: Team Super Noah

Who doesn't like a story about a super hero? Team Super Noah is walking in March for Babies because at Noah's mom's 20 week ultrasound, the doctor told his parents that something was wrong. He looked at them with uncertainty and helplessness and used words like "Preterm labor," "Viability" and "Second-term miscarriage." Seven weeks later, Noah Alexander was born weighing 2 lbs. 5oz. and was 15 inches long.

By the numbers, it was: 
  • 28 hours before his mom could hold him
  • 15 days before he needed a blood transfusion 
  • 28 days before he drank from a bottle for the first time
  • 46 days before the last tube was removed and his family was able to see his face for the first time
  • 5 extra days that he had to stay in the hospital after an apnea episode caused his heart rate to drop for what seemed like hours instead of minutes
  • And, 56 days before his parents were able to take him home and hold him in peace and quiet -- although they were nervous without the security of machines, nurses and doctors

Team Super Noah is Marching for Babies because they know what statistics and doctors may say and what is actually possible.

They March for Babies because they know how powerful an ounce and a milliliter can be.

They March for Babies because they know what it means to hold someone so small and so young in your hands only to realize that they are bigger and stronger than you will ever be.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fluid retention

You’re in your last trimester, you feel great in the morning but like a squishy beach ball at night. By evening you may find your legs, feet and ankles are swollen due to fluid retention. And rings may become too tight to wear on swollen fingers. Unpleasant as this may be, slight swelling, especially in the evening, is pretty common and nothing to worry about. But call your health care provider if you have severe or sudden swelling, particularly in your hands or in your face around the eyes. This could be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia.

Here are some ways to prevent and relieve swelling:
  • Get up, stretch and move around periodically. No long-term couch potatoes!
  • Exercise, like walking or swimming, improves circulation and lessens swelling.
  • Cooling off can help. If it’s hot outside, take a cool shower, float in a pool in the shade, use cool compresses to make yourself comfortable.
  • Put your feet up. Elevated tootsies help keep fluids from pooling in your feet. And don’t cross your legs when you sit.
  • Avoid tight clothes and jewelry. Many women remove rings or even their wristwatch in the last month or so.
  • Salty foods can make you retain water, so avoid excess salt. But
some salt in your diet is good for you.
  • Do drink fluids, especially water. Odd as it may sound, you don’t want to risk dehydration.

Call your health care provider right away if one leg swells larger than another, if swelling comes on quickly (especially in the hands and face) or if it is accompanied by a nasty headache, changes in your vision, dizziness or belly pain. These are all signs of preeclampsia.
Tags: edema, fluid retention, preeclampsia, Pregnancy, salt intake, swelling, swollen ankles, swollen fingers


Friday, March 14, 2014

What Does Money Raised During March for Babies Support?

What Does Money Raised During March for Babies Support?

Posted by Linda

When you start raising money during March for Babies, you will naturally start to get the question “where does my money go?” The answer to this question is both easy and hard – the March of Dimes helps babies, but in so many ways, you might not know them all!

That’s why we invite you to share this infographic that shows what we do in just one year! Just follow the link, right click, and save! Then you can share it to Facebook, Twitter, and more!
If you haven’t started your fundraising yet, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time! Visit our website to register and start your fundraising today. You’re making the difference for stronger, healthier babies!

Changing your baby’s diapers

Changing your baby’s diaper can be a tricky part of newborn care. But with practice, moms and dads can become pros in no time.

First, before opening that dirty diaper door, collect your supplies:
• A sturdy flat surface, like a changing table, bureau top, or even the bed
• A clean diaper
• Baby wipes or a soft washcloth moistened with warm water
• Diaper rash ointment
Here’s how to change your baby’s diaper:
1. Place your baby on a changing surface (never leave her unattended for even a second) and unfasten her diaper.

2. Hold your baby’s ankles with one hand. Lift her legs and bottom and remove her dirty diaper with your other hand.
3. If there’s a big mess, use the front, clean part of the diaper to wipe her bottom from front to back.

4. Use diaper wipes or plain water on a soft cloth to gently clean your baby’s genitals and bottom. Take extra care with creases and folds in your baby’s skin. For baby girls, always wipe from front to back to avoid infection.
5. Pat dry. Apply diaper rash ointment if your baby has a diaper rash. Don’t use talcum powder because it can irritate your baby’s lungs.

6. Slide a clean diaper under your baby. If you’re using a disposable diaper, be sure the sticky tabs to fasten the diaper are behind the baby.
7. Fasten the diaper on both sides of your baby. For a disposable diaper, press the sticky tabs to the front of the diaper.

8. Tuck the new diaper below your baby’s umbilical cord until it heals. Make sure the diaper doesn’t bunch up between her legs.
9. To prevent accidents, make sure there aren’t any diaper openings around her hips.

How do you diaper your baby boy after a circumcision?
The diapering steps above are good for all babies. But if your baby boy is circumcised:
• For the first few days, put a new bandage on the penis each time you change your baby’s diaper.
• Use petroleum jelly on the penis or on the part of the diaper or bandage that touches the penis. This helps prevent the diaper or bandage from sticking to or rubbing against the penis.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Filling In Your Family Team!

Have you registered for March for Babies? If you have, you’re one step ahead of everyone else! But you may be thinking – what do I do know? Sometimes the prospect of fundraising all on your own can be a little daunting – that’s where team support comes in!

The first step after starting your team is to get your family and friends to register too! Knowing you’re in it together, having the community to bounce ideas off of, and having a support system as you fundraise is key!

It might take a couple of reminders, but before you know it your family and friends will be part of your team. Once they’ve registered it’s easy to keep in touch on fundraising and see how you’re meeting your goals. So don’t delay – register today and remind your family and friends to join you!

March for Babies is a community event for everyone! Get started now!

Posted by Linda

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why We Walk Wednesday: Shawn Jones

Shawn Jones, son of Samantha and Edward Jones, was born full-term.  He weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces and was 18½ inches long, but at 5 months old, it was discovered that Shawn had a congenital heart defect
Shawn had emergency open heart surgery to fix a ventral septal defect and remove a supramitral membrane.  His parents were told that he would eventually need a mitral valve replacement. 
In December of 2009, at 13 years old, Shawn had his mitral valve replaced at WVU Hospital.  His valve was replaced with a mechanical valve which requires him to be on lifelong blood thinners. 
Since the surgery, Shawn has done remarkably well. He is a senior at Mountain Ridge High School and is very active with sports, hunting and fishing.  
Each year, Shawn participates in March for Babies, along with a group of his friends and his little brother, Seth. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Why We Walk Wednesday: Team Walking for Little Miracles

The Walker family understands firsthand what it can mean if a baby is born too soon.

Daughter Kinsey was born premature at 29 weeks gestation via an emergency C-section. She weighed just 2 pounds 2 ounces. No one knew if she would survive. 
Today (March 5) is Kinsey’s 12th birthday and again this year, she has asked for donations for the March of Dimes instead of presents.
Even at such a young age, Kinsey credits the March of Dimes for helping her realize how lucky you are if you live and is determined to give back to help families that have or will have preemies. 

When she was just five years old, Kinsey decided to walk for the March of Dimes. Her parents joke that she skipped throughout most of the five miles. This year will mark the family’s seventh year participating in March for Babies.
This will be a special year for them as they will serve as the March for Babies Montgomery Co. Ambassador Family helping to raise awareness and the funds to give babies a healthy start in life.

We wish Kinsey a very, happy birthday!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fundal height

Fundal height is defined as the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. It is measured in centimeters. As your baby grows, the top of the uterus (the fundus) grows up and out of the pelvic cavity.  At about 12 weeks of pregnancy it can be felt just above the pubic bone.  At 20 weeks, it reaches the navel. At about this time, your health care provider will start to measure your fundal height at each prenatal care visit. He or she will measure from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus.  The measurement allows your provider to see how well your baby is growing.
Your fundal height measurement should roughly equal the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant. For example, if you’re 20 weeks pregnant, your health care provider would expect your fundal height to be somewhere between 18-22 centimeters. It isn’t unusual, however, to measure somewhat smaller or larger than expected.  Individual body types and factors such as a full bladder or carrying multiples, can affect fundal height measurements.  Some medical reasons fundal heights may be greater or smaller than expected include:
   • Fetal growth that is too slow or too rapid
   • Too much or too little amniotic fluid
   • Uterine fibroids
   • A baby prematurely descending into the pelvis or settling into a breech or other unusual position

It is important to remember that fundal height is only a tool for evaluating fetal growth.  It is not an exact science. Typically, fundal height measurements reassure you and your provider about your baby’s steady development. However, there are individual variations and no two babies are exactly the same.  So if your measurements are a bit more or less than what you might expect, don’t worry. However, if you are concerned about your fundal height measurements, make sure you talk to your health care provider.  There are other prenatal tests that can be done to assure you that your baby is doing well and growing as he or she should be.