World Prematurity Day 2022 is observed every year on November 17 to bring awareness to the issue of premature births around the world. According to the World Health Organization, every year 15 million babies are born prematurely and 1 million of them die as a result. There are many factors that can contribute to a premature birth, including maternal health, medical history, and environmental factors. In developed countries, the leading cause of premature births is multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.), while in developing countries it is usually due to infection or malnutrition. There are many ways to help prevent premature births, such as improving maternal health care, increasing access to prenatal care, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins. You can also help by spreading awareness about the issue on World Prematurity Day.
WORLD PREMATURITY DAY DATES
What is Prematurity?
When a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is considered premature. Premature babies are at higher risk for health problems and need special care.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death for children under 5 years old. In the United States, about 1 in 10 babies are born premature.
There are many different causes of premature birth, but often times the cause is unknown. Some women have an increased risk for premature birth, including those who:
- Are pregnant with more than one baby
- Have had a previous premature birth
- Have certain medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
- Use certain medications during pregnancy, such as steroids
- Smoke cigarettes or use illegal drugs during pregnancy
If you think you may be at risk for premature birth, talk to your doctor. They can help you make a plan to decrease your risk.
Causes of Prematurity
There are many different causes of prematurity, and it is often a combination of factors that leads to a baby being born too early. Some of the common causes of prematurity include:
-Maternal health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, or infection
-Problems with the placenta or umbilical cord
-Multiple births ( twins, triplets, etc)
-Smoking, alcohol use, or drug use during pregnancy
-Certain medications used during pregnancy
-Poor nutrition during pregnancy
-Stressful life events during pregnancy
Effects of Prematurity
Preterm birth is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. A preterm baby may have health problems due to being born too early.
Some effects of prematurity include:
• Respiratory problems. Premature babies often have trouble breathing and may need help from a ventilator (a machine that helps them breathe). They are also at risk for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a chronic lung disease.
• Gastrointestinal problems. Premature babies may have trouble feeding and may need to be fed through a tube. They are also at risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious gastrointestinal condition.
• Brain problems. Premature babies are at risk for cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays.
• Vision problems. Premature babies are at risk for retinopathy of prematurity, a condition that can lead to blindness.
• Hearing problems. Premature babies are at risk for hearing loss.
How to Prevent Prematurity
Prematurity is the leading cause of death in newborns worldwide.
There are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of preterm labor and birth.
Having a healthy pregnancy starts with getting early and regular prenatal care. Prenatal care can help identify women at risk for preterm labor and delivery.
There are also a number of lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce the risk of preterm labor and birth, including:
-eating a healthy diet
-avoiding tobacco smoke
-avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs
-getting regular exercise
What causes preterm birth?
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to preterm birth, including:
• Maternal health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
• Infections during pregnancy
• Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy
• Use of certain medications during pregnancy
• Poor nutrition during pregnancy
• Stress during pregnancy
Preventing preterm birth
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help reduce the risk of preterm birth. These include:
1) Getting early and regular prenatal care
2) Managing chronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
3) Avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
4) Eating a healthy diet
5) Reducing stress during pregnancy
World Prematurity Day is a day to raise awareness about prematurity and its effects on families and babies around the world. Every year, millions of babies are born premature, and many of them don’t survive. On World Prematurity Day, we remember all the babies who have been lost to prematurity and celebrate the ones who are still with us. We also recommit to doing everything we can to prevent preterm birth and help more babies reach their full potential.