NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in 10 infants born in the United States is born premature.
That’s why Eastern Virginia Medical School hosted its Laps for Little Ones walk on Wednesday, World Prematurity Day.
Staff and community members walked laps around the David L. Bernd Commons. Programs like “healthy start, loving steps” set up information booths on-site as well.
The goal is to provide support and resources to local families.
Senior Community Health Worker Chanacy Butler with EVMS Health Start Loving Steps says they focus on families in areas where pre-term birth rates are high.
“We need to make sure we reduce the risk within our community for pre-term labor and pre-term birth,” said Butler.
Mothers like Sary Boykins say these programs are helpful during a scary time. Her twin boys were born at 26 weeks. One spent six weeks in the hospital, the other seven weeks.
“You just don’t know what to do. You don’t know where to reach out to for information. You don’t know where to reach out to for help. You don’t even really know if there is help out there. Organizations like these are here for the help to provide information to provide resources,” said Boykins.
Boykin’s boys are both healthy. She credits prayers and the hospital staff who took care of them.