World Prematurity Day
Caring for the Babies born too-soon, Caring for the future
Almost 15 million babies, every year, face the challenge of premature birth. It can be understood that one in ten babies are born premature across the globe.
This prematurity leads to death within the first 5 years of life and the number accounts for 1 million deaths every year (as per UNICEF).
To raise awareness regarding preterm birth, November 17, every year, is observed as World Prematurity Day.
From the inception in 2009, World Prematurity Day is seen as an event to reach out to people for making them aware of the heavy risk of death and abnormal life. As a result of premature birth and the brutal pain and suffering it causes for both the new-born and the parents.
World premature day implies about the causes, preventions and cure as a solution for preterm birth. There is a range of events and challenges organized across the countries worldwide, playing a major role in keeping this mission of awareness against preterm birth alive.
This is getting stronger every year as the number of new countries are increasing and are joining the initiative .They go on organizing creative events like public art exhibitions, purple lighting, and discussion in parliament regarding proper solutions to end the fatality. In the local level, regular health check-ups for women in the multiple stages of pregnancy and awareness marches across the cities.
The World Prematurity Day 2020 resembles, “Together for babies born too soon – Caring for the future”. This theme will be focusing majorly on:
- Helping parents with premature kids
- Providing support to healthcare professionals
- Bolstering healthcare systems in places
- Certain health factors faced by the mother, child, or both because of pregnancy complications result in preterm birth.
- The other reasons include weak cervix, urine infection, bacterial vaginosis ,hormonal imbalance which leads to developing stress in the mother, affecting the baby.
- There can be a considerable risk of premature birth if the mother has a history of premature birth, giving births to twins or triplets at a time, drug abuse, or alcoholism, and the biggest factor is the age of the mother.
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Since premature birth is usually unplanned, certain risks are unavoidable. However, some common methods can help us to reduce the chances of facing preterm birth. The tips mentioned below can help us to motivate a healthy pregnancy:
- Say no to alcohol, smoking, or any kind of drug abuse used for “recreational purposes” before or as soon as you get to know that you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor about the medications that you were using before pregnancy as some of them may cause complications and harm to you or the baby during pregnancy. These issues need to be handled carefully.
- Make sure that you are eating properly and have a proper weight gain throughout the entire phase of pregnancy. All that you eat should be advised by the doctor for accurate nutrition
- Food is the most important factor and a mother needs to be healthy and maintain a proper balanced and nutritional diet. This becomes more important if the mother is underage i.e. 17 years or is over 35 years and is pregnant with more than one baby.
- Proper rest is mandatory. No heavy-lifting, working or standing for very long durations of time
- It is advised that the mother should be happy to avoid any psychological complications in the baby.
- Attending prenatal classes for knowledge enhancement and avoiding infections
- Any abnormality in the uterus giving you a history of preterm birth can be fixed through safe surgical options before pregnancy
- If the cervix is weak or incompetent, it should be closed from the 14th week of pregnancy till the end via surgery to avoid any risk of premature birth
- If the mother is dealing with any mental health issues, this can be transferred to the baby as well, and hence, it needs to be treated or properly administered at the time of pregnancy.
- Although sexual intercourse during pregnancy is considered to be healthy if the risk of premature delivery is high then it is important to refrain from it.
There are multiple ways we can spread awareness regarding premature birth, survival, and helping kids with premature birth to lead a healthy life to the best of their potential:
- Go purple : purple is the recognized color for WPD, showing collective support against premature birth. Wear purple bands, ribbons, etc., or change your social media profile pictures to purple.
- Hang up a sock-line: It is an initiative to create awareness regarding premature birth where you line up 9 baby socks (white and a comparatively smaller socks, purple with them and share the pictures on social media with relevant hashtags to raise awareness.
- Kangaroo Mother Care (WHO recommended): It is one of the common practices that is making its way to the clinics as well. This includes taking care of a premature baby weighing less than 2 kgs. Its practical guide helps us to keep a check on all the necessities for providing effective Kangaroo Mother Care. Take up the Kangaroo Mother Care Challenge, this World Prematurity Day.
- MidWife Care (WHO recommended): This kind of care involves using a midwife for the continuous care of a mother during the intrapartum, antenatal, and postnatal continuum. This has proven to decrease the case of premature childbirth by 24%. The licensed and trained midwives can educate people for proper care of the mother and the fetus during pregnancy time.
World Prematurity Day is the way to drive collective and coordinated awareness programs as we must take up the fight to decrease the number of premature deaths and if we want to achieve the goal of eliminating all threats related to infant mortality and newborn deaths by 2030 as supported by 193 countries from across the globe.