EWING, N.J., Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The makers of First Response in-home diagnostic tests are proud to continue their support of the March of Dimes in honor of World Prematurity Day by bolstering the awareness around premature birth. As prematurity is the #1 killer of newborns in America, awareness around this critical problem is key for not only expecting mothers, but for all women, regardless of their current plans for pregnancy.
"First Response is committed to ensuring that women everywhere have the most accurate reproductive health information and has partnered with the March of Dimes to help educate women on proper pre-pregnancy and pregnancy health," said Stacey Feldman, Vice President of Marketing, Church & Dwight. "As the only pregnancy test brand that can tell a woman that she is pregnant six days before her missed period, First Response knows that the first few weeks of pregnancy are critical to fetal development, so early prenatal care is important for having a healthy baby. The sooner you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can begin making healthy choices about diet and nutrition, and limit your exposure to hazards."
Revealing the need for increased awareness, the March of Dimes recently released their annual Premature Birth Report Card, which shows that while the national preterm birth rate has fallen for the seventh consecutive year (to 11.4 percent in 2013) and to the lowest level in 17 years, the United States continues to have the highest preterm birth rate of any high-resource country, with more than 450,000 babies born prematurely in 2013.
For any woman thinking of getting pregnant, there are a number of simple, healthy changes that can be made early on to help improve the chances of having a healthy pregnancy, including:
- Have a preconception checkup with a health care provider.
- Get early and regular prenatal care.
- Take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, starting before pregnancy.
- Begin pregnancy at a healthy weight (not too heavy or too thin).
- Don't drink alcohol.
- Don't smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Don't use any drug, even over-the-counter medications or herbs, unless recommended by a health care provider who knows you are pregnant.
- Eat healthy foods, including foods containing folate (the form of folic acid naturally present in food). Good sources of folate or folic acid are fortified breakfast cereals, enriched grain products, beans, leafy green vegetables and orange juice.
- Don't eat undercooked meat or change a cat's litter box. Both are possible sources of toxoplasmosis, an infection that can cause birth defects.
- Don't eat fish that can be high in mercury, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish.
- Make sure your vaccinations are current. Get tested for an immunity to rubella (German measles) and chickenpox and consider being vaccinated if you're not immune. After being vaccinated, you should wait 1 month before getting pregnant.
"At any age, you should see your health care provider before trying to get pregnant," said Dr. Diane Ashton, Deputy Medical Director of the March of Dimes. "A preconception visit helps ensure that you are in the best possible health before getting pregnant. It is important that prenatal care begin early and is consistent throughout your pregnancy."
To further increase awareness during Prematurity Awareness Month, First Response has partnered with March of Dimes on a series of blog posts that seek to educate women on these and other healthy habits. These posts can be found by visiting the First Response Know Sooner Blog: http://blog.firstresponse.com/
About First Response™ Products
For over 25 years, the makers of First Response™ have been a pioneer in women's health with a portfolio of innovative pregnancy and ovulation at-home test kits. First Response™ Early Result Pregnancy Test can be used earlier than any other test on the market to detect the pregnancy hormone hCG. To help women get pregnant sooner* there is the First Response™ Daily Digital Easy-Read Ovulation Test to determine their most important fertile days by detecting their LH surge.
*Based on directions for use
About Church and Dwight, Co., Inc.
Church and Dwight, Co., Inc., headquartered in Ewing, NJ, manufactures and markets a wide range of personal care, household and specialty products under the ARM & HAMMER brand name and other well-known trademarks.
About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.
Emily Collard, Edelman
SOURCE First Response