For healthier babies, carry them to full term
November is Prematurity Awareness Month and it is important to remember that healthy babies are worth the wait. As a doctor who delivers babies in Elizabethtown, I see many women who are a few weeks from a full-term pregnancy and are feeling really uncomfortable. Some are ready to schedule a delivery by induction or cesarean section before they have reached their 39th or 40th week of pregnancy.
Development of important organs, including the brain, lungs and liver, occurs during the last weeks of pregnancy. Research published in the past few years shows that the risk of death doubles when a baby is born at 37 weeks of pregnancy as compared to 39 or 40 weeks.
I have been working with the March of Dimes and local hospitals to eliminate medically unnecessary c-sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy because all babies deserve the best opportunity for a healthy start in life.
This past year, the March of Dimes celebrated its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to give all babies a healthy start in life. Some 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines and medical breakthroughs.
Michael Nethers, MD
Co-chair of the Program Services Committee for the Greater Kentucky Chapter of the March of Dimes
Homeless need help
How can our government think about building a new government center when we have street people dying in Thoroughbred Park and so many hanging out by the library and the Robert F. Stephens courthouse asking for money for cigarettes and food?
Just what is the government going to do when a street person freezes to death this winter?
The transit center is just as bad.
Is our government blind to all of this?
Can't they find a place for these people to live?
Ronald T. Winkler
God out of our lives
Why are the American people in the trouble we are today? Why is there so much poverty killing our fellow Americans? Why is it we can come together as a whole when there is a tornado, hurricane or some other disaster? Why are we working for the government when the government is supposed to be working for us? Thousands of working people are losing their health insurance every day. America is no longer the superpower we used to be. We have taken God out of schools, homes and hearts. I think God has turned his back on us because we have turned our backs on him. Until we bring God back into our lives, homes and into our country, we will never prosper again.
John Wayne Hughes
Real help for veterans
Every Veterans Day we stop to honor our many veterans. There are parades and memorial services, and, of course, freebies.
If you aren't aware, one of the growing Veterans Day trends now is for businesses to offer freebies such as a free meal or a discount to veterans. While this is a win/win for vets and businesses alike — through great PR and free steaks — the support is misguided and doesn't go far enough. Veterans don't need discounts or free meals for one day; they need more access to and education on mental health.
Instead of free meals why don't these companies give to organizations that help the growing number of vets with depression and suicide? Even though they make up approximately fourteen percent of the population, twenty percent of all suicides in the U.S. are veterans. Estimates are that veterans are committing suicide at a rate of 22 a day, which is nearly twice as high as the civilian population. There are organizations and crisis lines that help veterans, but they need more support and funding.
It isn't just businesses; we can all do better. Let's ditch the freebies and steer our support toward helping them get well by bringing more awareness and money to this cause. We all owe it to them.
The letter writer who recently chose to excoriate Larry Forgy for an op-ed piece in the Herald-Leader is representative of what's wrong with American politics today. His criticism was way over the top. Rather than thoughtfully rebut the points Forgy was making, the writer immaturely resorted to schoolyard cattiness. I have known Forgy for 47 years. And while we are poles apart in terms of our political beliefs, he is a sincere, honest, kind, honorable man. He has given years to public service as an able state budget director, a respected vice president at the University of Kentucky and a federal government official. To snidely level criticism at him because he did not win elections is representative of the small-minded, divisive politics that currently infects our society.