Superheroes of all shapes and sizes prepare to ‘March for Babies’ for the March of Dimes

Insider Louisville LogoIt may not be a local version of “Batman vs. Superman,” but you should  be on the lookout for a bunch of pint-sized Superheroes on the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park on May 14.

They will be there as part of the annual March of Dimes “March for Babies,” when hundreds of people gather to join in the cause to prevent birth defects and help in the fight to improve the health of babies, according to a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

This year’s superhero theme was chosen in part to support the organization’s idea that there’s “a fighting chance for every baby.” They also hope that children (and adults) will attend the March for Babies in full superhero costume.

For more information about the Greater Louisville March for Babies, please click here.


March of Dimes helps moms ‘Make a PACT’ to prevent preterm births

Insider Louisville LogoThe Greater Kentucky chapter of the March of Dimes is making some great progress in reducing the number of preterm births around the Commonwealth, but there is still much work to do, according to a Passport-sponsored article in Insider Louisville.

Since 2010, the number of preterm births in Kentucky has gone down each year, from 13.7 percent in 2010 to 12.6 percent in 2013, according to the latest information from the March of Dimes. Overall infant mortality rates dropped from 7.2 percent in 2012 to 6.4 percent in 2013, while Jefferson County saw a much greater decrease, as the rate of infant mortality dropped from 8.2 percent in 2012 to 4.9 percent in 2013.

That’s the good news. But it’s not all good news, and that’s why the March of Dimes continues to work hard to prevent preterm births and improve the fate of all babies and moms. And through its mission of preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality, progress continues to be made here in Kentucky, according to Leslie Bailey, executive director of the Greater Kentucky chapter of the March of Dimes.

In January, the chapter participated in March of Dimes National Birth Defects Prevention Month, a campaign that encourages expectant mothers to adopt healthy habits and lifestyle choices. It teamed with the Kentucky Department of Public Health to raise awareness of the issue of birth defects, which affects about 7,000 babies born in Kentucky annually, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The campaign, called ”Make a PACT for Prevention”, focuses on steps women should take to increase their chances of having a healthy baby. PACT stands for “Plan, Avoid, Choose, Talk.”

For more information, please click here.


Passport sponsors Prematurity Awareness Month to help reduce the number of babies born too soon

March of Dimes Super BabyBecause premature birth is the leading cause of death during the first month life, Passport is joining with the March of Dimes to sponsor Prematurity Awareness Month in November. By working together and raising awareness, we can help reduce the number of babies who are born prematurely.

With about 1 in every 7 babies in Kentucky born before 37 weeks gestation (higher than a national average of about 1 in 10), that accounts for about one preterm birth every hour. The U.S. spends more than $26 billion each year for health care, special education, and lost productivity related to premature birth. It causes hearing loss, cerebral palsy, blindness and intellectual disabilities.

“At Passport, we’ve made it a priority to focus on improving birth outcomes and preventing pre-term births,” said Passport CEO Mark Carter. “I’m proud to support the March of Dimes for their ongoing commitment to healthy babies and healthy families.”

Also, Passport will be hosting a special Lantern Lighting event on Tuesday, November 17, in tribute to babies who were born too soon. Please see and share the invitation here for more details.


Neonatal Nurses work hard every day to care for the tiniest and most fragile children

Neonatal NurseToday, we honor the hard work and dedication of all of our specialized prenatal and neonatal nurses who help moms and babies as part of National Neonatal Nurses Day. Help us congratulate them for making a huge difference in the lives of our tiniest members.

At Passport, we have three separate programs that are devoted to helping impact the health and quality of life of our tiniest members:

  • The Mommy Steps Program is a perinatal case management program designed to improve prenatal, infant and maternal outcomes. It helps us care for unborn babies in the womb.
  • The Stork Care Program includes special embedded OB nurses who work in local Kentucky hospitals to meet with families whose newborns are still inpatient. It helps us care for newborns in the hospital.
  • The Tiny Tots program is a neonatal transition program focused solely on the welfare of detained newborns who cannot be discharged from the hospital with their mothers after delivery due to medical problems. It helps us care for high-risk newborns in the hospital, as well as once they leave the hospital

For more information about any of these programs, call 1-800-578-0603. To learn more about National Neonatal Nurses Day, check out the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) website at

Passport is also proud to partner with the March of Dimes, an organization that works to end premature birth and other problems that threaten our babies. To learn more, go online to


U.S. Birth Rate Rises for the First Time Since 2007 while Teen Birth Rate Continues Decline

Community Baby Shower

If you’re feeling a bit crowded these days, you’re not alone – preliminary figures released recently show that U.S. births were up last year for the first time in seven years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The birth rate among women ages 15 to 44 increased from 62.5 births per 1,000 women in 2013 to 63 births per 1,000 women in 2014 – about 53,000 more babies born in 2014 than the year before.

“It looks like perhaps we’re seeing the turnaround that many experts have been anticipating,” Gretchen Livingston, a birth trends expert at Pew Research Center who was not involved in the report, told The Associated Press.

According to the report:

  • The teen birth rate fell 9 percent, continuing a decline that started in 1991. The number of babies born to teens last year – about 249,000 – is less than half the peak of nearly 645,000 in 1970.
  • The birth rates women in their 30s and early 40s continued to rise, increasing 3% and 2%, respectively.
  • About 32 percent of babies were delivered through cesarean section, marking the second straight decline.
  • Thepreterm birth rate – delivery at less than 37 weeks – fell to a little under 10 percent, part of a continuing decline.

For information about Passport’s Mommy Steps Program for pregnant members, please click here.