A closer look at the battle against premature births

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — National Prematurity Awareness Month shines a light on preterm births during the month of November, but all year long people are battling against the health crisis.

News 3 had the opportunity to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hospital to speak with the parents and personnel who face the reality of premature birth rates every day.

Renee Gunter and her baby Quinn have been in the ward for 78 days. Quinn was 26 weeks and one day old when she was born prematurely.

Though she’s had to have oxygen and feeding support, baby Quinn is doing well so far.

For Gunter, this is not her first time facing a premature birth — she experienced a similar journey just 4 years ago.

Her son Raylan was born in October 2013 at 25 weeks and one day. He weighed one pound and 8 ounces.

“They are a wonderful blessing to have, but if you don’t have to do a second trip, that would be wonderful,” Gunter explains.

Unlike Gunter, this was Antwonette Bulloch’s first time facing an early birth.

She has faced an emotional rollercoaster with her first son Kenton.

“With faith, family, and support, he is thriving,” she says. “We’re really just trying to make it day by day. That’s all you can do here.”

Kenton was born October 11, weighing two pounds and almost two ounces. He’s facing many of the complications associated with prematurity, like needing a feeding tube.

But baby Kenton and Baby Quinn are fighters and with the help and support they are receiving, they progress each and every day.

According to Tajana Cahoon, Executive Director of Market Development at March of Dimes, the organization is concentrating on providing better health care access for patients.

She says Georgia has a high disparity rate, meaning not everyone has the same access to quality care.

For more information about March of Dimes and the work they do to prevent and reduce premature birth, visit here.

Get ready for the 2018 March for Babies in Savannah — Tina will co-chair the event with Fran Baker-Witt.

It’s a cause near and dear to her heart. Her twin boys James and Julius were both stillborn and her miracle baby Celine was born prematurely.

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