WORLD PREMATURITY DAY
Sunday, November 17, 2013
November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and November 17th is World Prematurity Day! It’s a special day when people join together to increase awareness of the global problem of premature birth and the problems and risks involved in the development of a premature baby.
Every year, the lives of millions of families around the world are affected by prematurity. A “preterm” or “premature” birth occurs when a baby is born at least 3 weeks before his or her due date (i.e. less than 37 weeks gestation). Each year, 15 million babies–1 out of every 10–are born prematurely around the world, and 1 out of every 8 is born prematurely in the United States. The consequences of premature birth can be devastating and lifelong. Babies born too soon, too early and too sick are at a greater risk for serious health problems, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, breathing and digestive problems, hearing loss, etc. Many will require specialized care and spend weeks or months hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Sadly, more than 1 million babies will lose their life before their first birthday due to complications from premature birth.
Today, many people are unaware of these significant problems facing our tiniest patients and their families. In response, organizations have made great progress in addressing the needs for prenatal care (before childbirth) and the prevention of premature birth. Equally important, but significantly underserved, are the needs of families once their baby is born prematurely and is hospitalized in the NICU. Hailey’s Hope Foundation has set out to fill this void!
Premature birth can deprive a baby of important growth and development that occurs during the final months and weeks of pregnancy. As a result, a preemie’s first minutes, weeks and months of life can be critical and filled with uncertainty. Having a premature baby in the NICU poses incredible challenges for families as well. Hailey’s Hope Foundation strives to alleviate this stress and give NICU families and their babies a better beginning through targeted programs and initiatives.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
On World Prematurity Day, help us spread the word about the challenges of premature birth and the difficulties families face, and join us in honoring the 15 million preemies who struggle to survive each year and the memories of those who have lost their battle to premature birth. Please consider:
- “Liking Us” on Facebook and telling us who you would like to honor on World Prematurity Day.
- “Following” Us on Twitter at @HaileysHopeFDN.
- Sharing Your Story and photos on our website to honor your preemie and to show the many NICU families that will follow in your footsteps that they are not alone.
- Making a donation to Hailey’s Hope Foundation to support the needs of NICU families or to simply honor a preemie.
- Simply taking a moment to offer comfort and support to families affected by this life-changing event!
Thank you for making a difference in a preemie’s life!
For more information on the beginnings of World Prematurity Day, please click here.