UW News

April 12, 2001

UW Prematurity Prevention Program grads meeting in Husky Stadium at the end of WalkAmerica

Graduates of University of Washington Medical Center’s Prematurity Prevention Program participating in March of Dimes WalkAmerica on Saturday, April 28 will meet at the finish line in Husky Stadium to start a celebration at 10 a.m. They’ll join more program participants for a gathering in the UWMC Plaza Caf?tarting at 11 a.m. The reunion brings together mothers who worked on preventing the early births of their babies and clinical staff members to celebrate the children’s health and compare notes.

WalkAmerica participant Peggy Fisher of Seattle is the mother of now-healthy twin boys Charlie and Teddy. Fisher was identified as being at risk for premature labor early in her pregnancy and entered the Prematurity Prevention Program. She says last summer, while she was pregnant, was a very scary time, but the program’s team approach was reassuring.

“Everyone would get together every week as a team and talk about each patient,” Fisher says. “I was very impressed; any one of those people might see me in the hall and tell me I was on track with some part of my pregnancy. I was scared, but I also knew I was in the best possible care.”

Fisher’s twins eventually were born at low birthweight, a common complication of multiple births.

The Prematurity Prevention Program, part of UWMC’s Maternity and Infant Care Center, focuses on providing medical, surgical and pharmaceutical help, dietary counseling and social services for women who are already experiencing preterm labor, are pregnant with more than one baby or have multiple risk factors for preterm births.

Judy Wilson is the program’s coordinator. She’s seen the difference this kind of care makes in the lives of babies and their families.

“We’re really geared to teaching women to recognize symptoms of premature labor before they are too far advanced, ” Wilson says. “We have a lot of women who have had difficult pregnancies or delivered very early before. To see them end up with a healthy baby to take home is very gratifying.”

The King County WalkAmerica finish line in Husky Stadium is sponsored by University of Washington Medical Center. This partnership underlines the research March of Dimes funds to find the causes of premature birth, especially its work to discover why some women go into labor prematurely.