Every day, Woman’s Hospital welcomes miracle babies, like 5-year-old Gaby Lombrage, 2014 March of Dimes Ambassador. Gaby’s mother, Jasmine did not elect to deliver early, did everything to have a healthy pregnancy and yet she had Gaby at 26 weeks, weighing slightly over one pound. Each week, nearly 180 babies are born premature in Louisiana despite a mother’s efforts. The Lombrage family, Woman’s Hospital and the March of Dimes are encouraging every mom-to-be to focus on a healthy pregnancy and to allow labor to begin naturally, both of which can help reduce the risk of prematurity.
According to the March of Dimes, the cost of prematurity has a huge impact in Louisiana. One in six babies in our state is born prematurely, leading employers to spend around $54,149 for a single premature infant. Through proper prenatal care and education, families can help reduce the possibility of facing the challenges that Gaby and her parents endured.
As a premature infant, among Gaby’s challenges were severely underdeveloped lungs. Thanks to research and funding by the March of Dimes, Gaby received nitric oxide and surfactant therapy, which helped reduce the risk of permanent lung and brain damage.
As leaders in child and maternal health, Woman’s and the March of Dimes focus on delivering healthy babies through healthy pregnancy education at events like Baby Grand and Healthy Baby Showers, at Mobile Health Unit visits and with online resources at marchofdimes.com/Louisiana and womans.org. Additionally, when a family struggles, the March of Dimes’ NICU Family Support Program can offer support and comfort in the hospital.
“I cannot imagine going through this long journey of uncertainty without the love, professionalism and friendship of our NICU family at Woman’s who cared for Gaby – for us,” Jasmine said. “I’ve donated to the March of Dimes, but I didn’t know that one day they would help my child.” Gaby was a patient in Womans’ NICU for nearly a year.
Join the Lombrage family in helping other sick and premature babies by participating in the March for Babies onSaturday, May 10. To read and watch Gaby’s complete miracle story, visit womans.org/GabysStory.