One day, I came across an article discussing Infant Mortality. After reading it a ½ dozen times, it immediately became very personal for me. Shiloh turned 5 on January 10 of this year, and although we didn’t celebrate with him physically, we celebrated his spirit and our memories. The facts highlighted in the article took me by suprised.
- 1 out of every 8 pregnancies in the U.S. results in a preterm birth and roughly 7 of 1000 births end with the death of the child;
- 1 out of 4 African-American babies are born preterm with 14 of 1000 births ending with the death of a child;
- 1 in 5 women are obese at the beginning of their pregnancy, placing them at increased risk of complications, including high blood pressure and diabetes, during pregnancy
- Of women who could get pregnant, 69% do not take recommended folic acid supplements, 31% are obese, and about 3% take prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are known to cause birth defects
- Birth defects are one of the leading causes of infant deaths, accounting for more than 20% of all infant deaths
- Infants born to obese women are twice as likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life
- Poor diet, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and poor prenatal care can lead to preterm births
My BIG Idea for 2012:
I’ve been searching for a way to honor Shiloh turning 5 this year and believe that a campaign to raise funds for March of Dimes and bring awareness to the infant mortality rate. We can attack this problem and reduce the overall Infant Mortality Rate. I love cycling and I’m committed to reducing the IMR. The best way to connect the the two is ride for a cause. Shiloh was born 16 weeks before his due date, but he will ride with me from April to August to raise money, speak to the masses, and make a difference in the life of a newborn. The goal is simple, 3k miles & 2k dollars in 5 months culminating with a 100 mile ride in 5 hours at Hotter n’ Hell (google it!).
Motivation to exercise:
I need your help to hammer out 3k miles. Check out the “how you can help” tab and make a pledge to ride/run/walk. Leave your mileage and discipline in the comments section.
The message is simple. Poor health contributes to preterm birth, which contributes to the infant mortality rate. I remember telling Shiloh “control what you can control, when you can control it”, which is a perfect motto for our awareness campaign. In the end, we hope to have encouraged families to exercise, choose healthier foods, and seek prenatal care.