10 April, 2021

World Prematurity Day and Prematurity Awareness month

Get your purple on and let us all celebrate World Prematurity day on Tuesday, November 17th. Let us raise awareness on the importance of preventing premature pregnancy by representing something with the colour purple. This year’s theme is set to be: “World Prematurity Day 2020, Together for babies born too soon – Caring for the future”.

An estimate of about 15 million infant children are born pre-term (below 37 weeks of gestation), and this number is increasing yearly. It is a concern for all of us because pre-term birth complication is the dominant cause of death among children below five years of age. There have been approximately 1 million casualties in the year 2015. Most of these fatalities could have been prevented with easy and practical mediation.

The World Prematurity Day aims to raise attention for mothers and soon-to-be-mothers about the dangers of pre-term births and how to avoid it. This day also focuses on supporting families who have lost their offspring from prematurity.

Furthermore, by backing up the health care system on pre-term birth protocols, we may decrease the percentage of pre-term children’s mortality rate. Prematurity awareness month aspires to support healthcare professionals by proactively engaging on the issues of pre-term death. It is an opportunity for us to encourage medical practitioners to get involved in the National Prematurity Day.

How does prematurity happen?

World Prematurity Day

Pre-term infants, especially in severe cases where the baby is born too early, often have complicated medical problems. Typically, complications of pre-term babies vary. But the sooner the infant is born, the higher the complications will be. Certain risk factors are identified, but the specific cause of premature birth is still unclear.

 Some of the factors are the following:

  • A history of premature births
  • Pregnancy of twins, triplets, or other numerous babies
  • Six months interval of pregnancy
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Uterine, cervical and placental problems
  • Cigarette smoking and substance abuse
  • Infections in the amniotic fluid and lower genital area
  • Under or overweight before pregnancy
  • Multiple abortions or miscarriages
  • Trauma or physical injury

World Prematurity Day: Call to action!

Preventing fetal demise and complications starts with a healthy pregnancy. The care given during pre, ante, and post-pregnancies will establish a positive pregnancy experience. More than half of the babies born in prematurity could have been saved with achievable and practical care, such as fundamental care during childbirth and the postnatal period for every mother and child.

Prematurity awareness plans to relay WHO’s antenatal care guidelines that include an intervention to help avert pre-term birth. One aspect of this movement is counselling on a healthy diet in the most favourable nutrition. A study shows that skin-to-skin contact and frequent breastfeeding of the mother can help in aid of pre-term babies.

A provision of antenatal steroid injection is given to mothers at risk for pre-term labour that can also strengthen the baby’s lungs.

There are many ways to get involved in this movement. You can donate to any foundation or parent platforms that promote premature awareness month. In this way, you can help them encourage mother and child well-being and support families of premature babies.

Another is health teachings of the risks and dangers of tobacco and substance use in pregnancy. Pregnant women are also advised to have a minimum of eight contacts with healthcare providers to detect and manage risk factors affecting the pregnancy, such as infections and defects.

During this November Prematurity Awareness Month, we should seek to educate the many families and medical practitioners who are still unaware of the risks and advancements being done in the infant care space to support our future babies. We should further raise awareness about the struggles that premature infants go through and give proper training to healthcare workers to deal with these cases.

Raise your purple flags for the ‘World Prematurity Day’

Let’s go crazy on purple! Purple is the official colour of the premature month. Put on a purple shirt or dress, wear a purple ribbon on your chest or bake some purple goodies for your friends to raise awareness of this day. Do whatever way you can to show empowerment to the families who are struggling with premature babies.

You can also celebrate World Prematurity Month by giving care packages to people in need. Have a donation drive for families battling their fight with prematurity. You can share your blessings by giving out small bottles, blankets, and clothing (in most cases, doll-sized clothes). It is a big help for women, especially new mothers.

Furthermore, social media is a mighty weapon that can be utilized to celebrate this day. Share something about the awareness of prematurity in infants. Post some pictures of Pre-term babies, though as cute as they are, let people know how much they are fighting bravely through their conditions.

Let this be an opportunity for us to share globally the details and knowledge about how premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. Let us all stand together in raising awareness!

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-birth/symptoms-causes/syc-20376730

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preterm-birth

https://www.medela.us/breastfeeding-professionals/blog/prematurity-awareness?fbclid=IwAR322LiqHeiDTZHbLKzcV8hxOnMecjJRJqhM0GhWny7W0sYyKkSFW5Squac

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