World Prematurity Day is an observance held on the 17th of November.
Approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year accounting for more than one in 10 of all babies born worldwide. It is estimated that the world’s 39 highest-income countries could cut around 58 000 premature births annually by implementing interventions to prevent preterm births, amounting to roughly US$3.0 billion in economic cost savings.
|World Prematurity Day|
|Official name||World Prematurity Day|
|Next time||17 November 2013|
World Prematurity Day was founded in May 2010 in New York by The European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), Little Big Souls International Charitable Foundation for Africa and March of Dimes,USA. It was officially launched and celebrated as World Prematurity Day in 2011, with the addition of National Premmie Foundation,Australia, and has since grown exponentially as a global day around the world marked in more than 50 countries.
The first meeting of European Parents’ Organisation concerned with prematurity took place in 2008 in Rome, Italy. Representatives of the parents organisations decided to create an awareness day for preterm infants and their families. The 17th of November was chosen because one of EFCNI’s founders was born a healthy daughter on 17 November 2008 after having lost his preterm triplets in December 2006.
On November 17, 2009, the first “International Prematurity Awareness Day” is celebrated by the EFCNI and its European partner organisations. In parallel, the March of Dimes started their campaign for a Prematurity Awareness Month in November.
INFORMATION ABOUT PREMATURE BABIES
At birth, a baby is classified as one of the following:
- Premature (less than 37 weeks gestation)
- Full term (37 to 42 weeks gestation)
- Post term (born after 42 weeks gestation)
If a woman goes into labor before 37 weeks, it is called preterm labor.
“Late preterm” babies who are born between 35 and 37 weeks gestation may not look premature. They may not be admitted to an intensive care unit, but they are still at risk for more problems than full-term babies.
Health conditions in the mother, such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease, may contribute to preterm labor. Often, the cause of preterm labor is unknown. About 15% of all premature births are multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.).
Different pregnancy-related problems increase the risk of preterm labor or early delivery:
- A weakened cervix that begins to open (dilate) early, also called cervical incompetence
- Birth defects of the uterus
- History of preterm delivery
- Infection (such as a urinary tract infection or infection of the amniotic membrane)
- Poor nutrition right before or during pregnancy
- Preeclampsia — high blood pressure and protein in the urine that develop after the 20th week of pregnancy
- Premature rupture of the membranes (placenta previa)
Other factors that increase the risk for preterm labor and a premature delivery include:
- Age of the mother (mothers who are younger than 16 or older than 35)
- Being African-American
- Lack of prenatal care
- Low socioeconomic status
- Use of tobacco, cocaine, or amphetamines
The infant may have trouble breathing and keeping a constant body temperature.
Exams and Tests
A premature infant may have signs of the following problems:
- Bleeding into the brain or damage to the brain’s white matter
- Infection or neonatal sepsis
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, extra air in the tissue of the lungs (pulmonary interstitial emphysema), or bleeding in the lungs (pulmonary hemorrhage)
- Newborn jaundice
- Problems breathing due to immature lungs, pneumonia, or patent ductus arteriosis
- Severe intestinal inflammation (necrotizing enterocolitis)
A premature infant will have a lower birth weight than a full-term infant. Common signs of prematurity include:
- Abnormal breathing patterns (shallow, irregular pauses in breathing called apnea)
- Body hair (lanugo)
- Enlarged clitoris (in female infants)
- Less body fat
- Lower muscle tone and less activity than full-term infants
- Problems feeding due to trouble sucking or coordinating swallowing and breathing
- Small scrotum that is smooth and has no ridges, and undescended testicles (in male infants)
- Soft, flexible ear cartilage
- Thin, smooth, shiny skin that is often transparent (can see veins under skin)
Common tests performed on a premature infant include:
- Blood gas analysis to check oxygen levels in the blood
- Blood tests to check glucose, calcium, and bilirubin levels
- Chest x-ray
- Continuous cardiorespiratory monitoring (monitoring of breathing and heart rate)
When premature labor develops and cannot be stopped, the health care team will prepare for a high-risk birth. The mother may be moved to a center that is set up to care for premature infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
After birth, the baby is admitted to a high-risk nursery. The infant is placed under a warmer or in a clear, heated box called an incubator, which controls the air temperature. Monitoring machines track the baby’s breathing, heart rate, and level of oxygen in the blood.
A premature infant’s organs are not fully developed. The infant needs special care in a nursery until the organs have developed enough to keep the baby alive without medical support. This may take weeks to months.
Infants usually cannot coordinate sucking and swallowing before 34 weeks gestation. A premature baby may have a small, soft feeding tube placed through the nose or mouth into the stomach. In very premature or sick infants, nutrition may be given through a vein until the baby is stable enough to receive all nutrition through the stomach. (See: Neonatal weight gain and nutrition)
If the infant has breathing problems
- A tube may be placed into the windpipe (trachea). A machine called a ventilator will help the baby breathe.
- Some babies whose breathing problems are less severe receive continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) with small tubes in the nose instead of the trachea. Or they may receive only extra oxygen.
- Oxygen may be given by ventilator, CPAP, nasal prongs, or an oxygen hood over the baby’s head.
Infants need special nursery care until they are able to breathe without extra support, eat by mouth, and maintain body temperature and body weight. Very small infants may have other problems that complicate treatment and require a longer hospital stay.
Celine Supports World Prematurity Day
Did you know November 17th is World Prematurity Day?
Join Celine to raise awareness and help the 15 million babies born too soon every year around the world.
Visit March of Dimes to get involved! http://www.bitly.com/MarchofDimesFB
Celine Dion talking about World Prematurity Day
We ALL are ONE!!!
Prematurity Awareness Month
Join us on Nov. 17 for World Prematurity Awareness Day!
We ALL are in this TOGETHER!!!