According to statistics provided by the CDC, the premature birth rate in the US is that 1 out of every 10 babies will be born too soon (before 37 weeks gestation). Aside from unknown causes of prematurity, many factors can play into this statistic, from medical complications of pregnancy, socioeconomic factors, non-pregnancy related health issues (smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc), and even maternal age (young or advanced). Essentially, prematurity can happen to anyone and most people don’t even consider it until it happens to them or someone they know.
One big project Believe in Preemies would like to pursue is creating a national campaign for prematurity awareness that not only documents American families from all different walks of life but unites a community in their similarities to others. It is meant to explore the factors faced by many families in different areas; cause, community support, financial burdens, outcomes and more. What does Prematurity in America look like and why do we rank lower than other nations? What factors attribute to this and what are their stories? This and more is what we’d like to explore.
More detailed information to follow when we begin to launch the campaign, but here is a working list of locations we wish to document the journey of NICU families across the USA over the course of a couple years.
Bare Bones: Get to every state in both urban and rural areas, both working poor and affluent, and photograph babies and their families in the NICU, share their stories & document similarities and differences between the demographic regions of the United States
Road Trip Legs:
North by Northwest Leg:
Nebraska | South Dakota | North Dakota | Wyoming | Montana | Idaho | Utah | Colorado
South by Southwest Leg:
Oklahoma | Texas | New Mexico | Arizona | Nevada
West Coast Leg:
California | Oregon | Washington
North by Northeast Leg:
Iowa | Minnesota | Wisconsin | Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Ohio |Kentucky
South by Southeast Leg:
Arkansas | Louisiana | Mississippi | Alabama | Florida | Georgia | Tennessee | Missouri
East Coast Leg 1:
South Carolina | North Carolina | Virginia | West Virginia | Maryland | Delaware | New Jersey | Pennsylvania
East Coast Leg 2:
New York | Connecticut | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Vermont | Maine
Fly to Locations: Alaska and Hawaii