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Barristers for Babies organized by March of Dimes in Milwaukee

A progesterone based hormone called \"17-P\" continues to show great promise in helping women at risk of premature birth to carry full term.

That's just some of the news to emerge at the annual Barristers for Babies luncheon organized by the March of Dimes in Milwaukee Wednesday.

CBS 58 News is a proud partner with March of Dimes. Anchor Michele McCormack served as moderator for the panel discussion.

As the name implies, it was a gathering of top local lawyers now advocating for better access to prenatal care and nutrition for mothers to be.

This in hopes of combating the 1 in 8 premature birth rate in Milwaukee County.

\"I remember my grandmother raising money for the March of Dimes when I was a little girl,\" said keynote speaker, mother and attorney, Katie Maloney Perhach. \"But but my first encounter was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital with my son Matthew. I was really appreciative of the family support that March of Dimes provided in the NICU.\"

The panel of medical experts was comprised of Dr. Judith Hibbard, Professor and Vice Chair of Obstetrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Jill Radowicz, Operations Manager of Family and Community Health for the City of Milwaukee, and Julianna Olson, Market Medical Officer at Humana.

They focused on improving community outreach so expectant mothers know of the health services that are available to them.

Nutrition was seen as a key component as well as the continuing supportive research about the effectiveness of folic acid.

When asked by McCormack, nobody on the panel thought the push to criminalize co-sleeping cases where a death occurred would would have a noticeable impact on reducing infant mortality.

That's because health officials say unsafe sleeping accounts for a mere fraction of baby deaths.

The overwhelming factor in infant mortality remains premature birth which the March of Dimes hopes to eliminate by raising money for more research.

For more information on the work of the March of Dimes and how you can get involved

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