World Prematurity Day
World Prematurity Day on November 17 raises awareness about the issues that affect premature babies and their families and educates people on the care that preterm births need as well as provide the families of preemies with resources and support. Babies who are born too early face many more health complications that could affect everything from their hearing and vision to their brain and lungs.
On November 17, 2008, some European parent organizations organized an international day of awareness for premature births. However, the day wasn't adopted as an annual observance until 2011, when November 17 officially became World Prematurity Day and began being observed all around the world. By 2013, it was commemorated in more than 60 countries.
There are millions of preterm births every year, and many people are still not aware of the dangers that premature babies face, health-wise, as they are very vulnerable to problems like developmental delays and cerebral palsy, among others. A premature baby is a baby that is born at the gestational age of 37 weeks or less and is often called a premmie or preemie. Around 1 in 10 babies born is premature.
World Prematurity Day also provides education and support for the parents of premature babies, so that they have all the resources to ensure that their babies grow up to live strong and healthy lives, or, if the babies develop health issues, organizations can provide support for their developmental and health needs, and give their families psychological support.
In support of World Prematurity Day, many people choose to wear a purple ribbon, the official color of this observance.
How to Observe World Prematurity Day
Many groups and organizations, together with health professionals and hospitals organize events and media campaigns to raise awareness about this day and to educate people on some of the facts about premature births. If you or anyone you know has been affected by preterm birth check locally to see if there are any events or activities near you.
If you want to help parents affected by premature birth, many organizations provide new families with care packages. You can donate to these organizations and have a care package sent to new parents and their babies, or create some care packages yourself and distribute them.