PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia March for Babies will be held virtually again this year on Saturday. The March of Dimes annual event aims to keep moms and babies healthy and prevent preterm deliveries.
The March of Dimes says the preterm birth rate in Philadelphia is getting worse. The virtual March for Babies is this weekend and it’s being called a mother of a movement.READ MORE: Police: 2 Teens In Car Shot At Red Light In Philadelphia's Olney Neighborhood
Organizers are hoping to reverse the dangerous trend.
“I gave birth to my son nine weeks early,” mother Allison Collings said.
Allison Collings, who lives in Wallingford, says her baby boy who weighed just four pounds at birth spent five weeks in the NICU at Pennsylvania Hospital.
“I didn’t get to hold him, I didn’t get to I only saw a little glimpse of him,” Collings said.
The preterm birth rate in Pennsylvania is almost 10%.
The March of Dimes is working to reduce preterm births and is holding its March for Babies virtually to raise money and awareness.READ MORE: 14 Arrested On More Than 120 Charges Related To NorthPak Gang Violence In Wilmington
“Preterm birth and its complications are the second-largest factors in infant death in the United States,” Dr. Lily Higgins, with the March of Dimes, said.
Higgins says medical conditions and a lack of prenatal care are the leading causes for preterm births that are more prevalent among minorities.
“There is a health equity gap here, women of color are 50% more likely to give birth preterm and their children can face a 130% high infant death rate,” Higgins said. “We’re hoping that March of Dimes can level that playing field.”
In addition to educating women and doctors, the March of Dimes also helps develop treatments to prevent preterm deliveries and help for babies.
“One of the biggest things they contributed to was the funding and research for surfactant therapy,” Collings said.
Allison says that e-lung treatment helped her son survive.
Unlike Vaughn, many babies born prematurely often have a variety of health problems and developmental delays.MORE NEWS: Wawa, 2SP Brewing Company Team Up For Sunfest Strawberry Lemonade Shandy Beer
Click here for more information on Saturday’s March for Babies event.