3 Ways You Can Support the March of Dimes This Year

We are honored to be partnering with Reliant to bring you this sponsored post. We love the work they are doing with the March of Dimes, and we are thankful for the opportunity to raise awareness and provide ways for our community to help support their endeavors too!

Last September, my son was born at 33 weeks gestation.  He was my second preemie, with my daughter born at 32 weeks gestation just four years earlier.  Their NICU experiences were similar: weight gain issues, problems eating, bradycardia, and both pulling out their feeding tubes.  However, no matter how repetitive their stays seemed, no one can fully prepare for the twists and turns that come with the NICU.

While worrying about a frail baby, it is easy for a NICU momma to forget about caring for herself.  Instead of snuggling a squishy newborn and recovering properly, she has to travel back and forth to the NICU.  She may not be able to touch her baby or bond with him immediately.  She dreads the phone calls from the neonatologist and other specialists, for fear of bad news.  She can’t stand to hear the alarm bells go off for a baby’s monitor in the NICU, because this could be the time it means *her* baby is in distress.  I will never forget frantically checking my baby’s monitors as alarms went off in his pod.  I even heard the alarm bells in my head for weeks after we’d been discharged.

I was lucky to have a solid support system during our NICU stay.  My mom drove me back and forth to the hospital to visit my babies until I was cleared to drive.  My husband met me for lunch dates during the day.  My daughter was even allowed to visit her baby brother in the NICU during sibling visiting hours, which was so important to her.  Friends, family, and even people we didn’t know, dropped off meals for us.  NICU friends from our first stay reached out to us during the recent stay.

But here’s the thing… Not every new mother has the amount of support as I did in such a scary and uncertain environment.

Enter the March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes’ initiative is so important because because they focus on preventing prematurity through research and awareness.  In fact, since 2004, almost $28 million dollars has been targeted at premature birth, the leading killer of babies.  They research the causes of prematurity, the best treatments, and they educate pregnant women, so they know what symptoms to watch out for.

One of the biggest issues facing preemies is respiratory distress — and it was one of my biggest concerns as I was wheeled into the operating room both times.  Thankfully, I’d received surfactant shots with both pregnancies, which contributed to both babies being able to breathe on their own at birth.  This surfactant treatment was developed by March of Dimes grantees in 1990 which means both of my babies are healthy thanks to their efforts.

The March of Dimes also focuses on the mother’s health during her baby’s time in the NICU.  They facilitate NICU meetings during the week which is a time for the mothers to get together, do a craft or project, and bond over their NICU journeys.  They also created an online forum, called Share Your Story, which allows moms to connect over their shared experiences.

But as I’m sure you can imagine, all of these efforts are incredibly costly and require the support of businesses, individuals, and even families just like yours and mine across the nation. As a prior NICU mama myself, I am always searching for ways to give back and make my mark on their tremendous efforts, but unfortunately, a full-time work schedule and two small children can make this a bit tricky.  So today, I’m including a few easy {but mighty!} ways you can come alongside me in giving back to an organization that does so much for families across the nation…

1} Spread the word.

At any given time, the March of Dimes has a number of action campaigns taking place that you can help spread the word on.  The Action Center is a great place to stay in the loop on current initiatives, research news and updates, and ultimately, help share what you learn among other moms in the community.  You can also follow the March of Dimes on social media and easily share relevant articles and info with the click of a button there too.

2} Volunteer your time & strengths.

It takes more than 3 million volunteers to enable the March of Dimes to achieve its goals each year.  Let that sink in for a minute.  If you have a little bit of extra time on your hands or a strength that you think might be valuable, why not become one of those 3 million?  From recruitment to advocacy to public appearances, there are so many roles to be filled … and you just might be a perfect fit for one of them.

3} Support local businesses who are giving back.

Look for businesses around the community who are giving back to this awesome cause, and support them!  Personally, this is such an easy option for me because I’m purchasing goods and services that I’d be buying anyway, but I love the idea of doing business with a company that invests in a cause that means so much to me.  Reliant is a prime example.

Each April, Reliant customers and employees come together to raise funds for March of Dimes, and since 2002, Reliant employees have raised more than $1.6 million — on top of donating their personal time to host fundraisers or walk at the annual event.  Right now, Reliant is offering their customers the opportunity to join them in raising money for the March of Dimes through their Reliant BabyPower 12 electricity plan.  This plan includes a $100 donation to the March of Dimes …. and a $100 bill credit for you.  {A win, win.}  I compared the rates for this plan to my current plan with another provider, and I stand to save some serious cash with the current Reliant rates.  As someone who has forked over a small fortune in hospital bills recently, I’m all for saving money where I can!

Ready to join me in giving back?  Let’s do it!  For more information on the Reliant BabyPower 12 plan, visit www.reliant.com/babypower, and for more information about this year’s March for Babies event, visit www.marchforbabies.org.


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