You probably know someone who has given birth prematurely. Perhaps it’s happened to a child in your family. Perhaps you already know the heartbreaking statistics – that more babies die from premature birth than from health problems like malaria and AIDS. Perhaps you’ve lived through the hours, weeks, days and months in a NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) as a fragile infant dear to you, fights for breath and life.
Premature birth is a worldwide challenge. Of the 15 million babies born preterm each year, more than a million don’t survive. Those who do survive often do so with lifelong complications such as cerebral palsy, vision or hearing loss, or mental impairment.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and November 17 is World Prematurity Day. Our partner March of Dimes is a consistent leader in working to raise awareness of the seriousness of premature birth. They help fund the work of scientists to find the causes and help to end premature birth.
In the United States, one in ten babies is born too soon, a rate higher than most high-income countries. If you’re in the USA, March of Dimes has an interactive map you can use to see your state’s report card: How did you do? How does your state rate when it comes to babies being born too soon?
The fight against prematurity can be won, and more moms can have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies as we support the work of March of Dimes in their research, community, education, and advocacy efforts.
Take Action Challenge
You can Pledge Purple for Preemies! One easy way to support the effort of raising awareness for World Prematurity Day is to turn your profile picture purple and use the hashtag #worldprematurityday. Landmarks around the world will be lit in purple to honor the world’s tiniest warriors.
You can also donate to March of Dimes to help give hope to moms and babies everywhere, and share one of these updates on your social media channels:
- Premature birth can happen to anyone. Help us raise awareness about World Prematurity Day on Nov 17 #WorldPrematurityDay
- 15 million babies are #borntoosoon each year across the globe. Help me spread the word about #worldprematurityday!