PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH
In November, we honor Prematurity Awareness Month. About 15 million babies around the world are born premature every year, and around 1 million don’t survive. During this month, organizations and individuals come together to raise awareness about the seriousness of premature birth, and how dangerous it is worldwide.
Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks, which is considered healthy. If a baby is born before 37 weeks gestation, that baby is premature, which can pose several health risks. And it’s not only the babies that need special care… Oftentimes, the mother needs it as well. When a mother gives birth to a premature baby, a lot of physical and emotional stress comes with it. If their baby has to live at the hospital for the first month or so because of the premature birth, mothers often lose sleep due to late nights at the hospital, suffer with feelings of guilt, anxiety, and depression, and feel like failures. It’s important to take physical and mental health of the mother into consideration, just as much as it is for the baby. This month, speak up to raise awareness about premature birth. The more we talk about issues like this, the faster we will have answers and solutions.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #PrematurityAwarenessMonth to post on social media. Click here for a list of events that the March of Dimes puts on each November, and attend one near you. Here are some other staggering facts about premature birth.
- Around 11.4% of pregnancies end in early deliveries.
- About 450,000 babies in the U.S. are born premature every year.
- 80% of premature births are not expected to be early.
- Close to 30% are due to preterm rupture of membranes.
- Medical expenses for premature babies are around $54,000, compared to $4,000 for a healthy, full-term newborn.
The good news: The rate of premature births in the U.S. is dropping every year. The more we talk and raise awareness, the more this number will drop!
Prematurity Awareness Month is a part of the March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Campaign which began in 2003.