World Prematurity Day – November 17th
Globally, premature birth is the leading cause of childhood death. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born preterm and more than a million die as a result. In Washington, more than 8,700 babies are born preterm each year. Babies who survive often have lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities. During the month of November and on November 17th we are working to raise awareness about the issue of premature birth in Washington and around the world.
Anne Geddes, world-renowned photographer known for her photographs of infants, donated one of her iconic images of a baby born too soon for us to use as a public service announcement. The image is of a baby boy, named Alfred, who was born 8 weeks too soon weighing just two pounds, six ounces. She also taped a public service message help raise awareness about the need to prevent preterm birth and the work being done to give more babies a healthy start in life.
Everyone can participate in Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day by visiting their Facebook page, where you can share stories and videos about your baby, or a baby you love and learn from families around the world. People can also get involved in Prematurity Awareness Month efforts by visiting their website to learn more about premature birth and March of Dimes initiatives, and to make a donation to support research, education, and community-based programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.