Posts Tagged ‘World Prematurity Day’

Preemie chats this weekend

Friday, November 15th, 2013


This is Prematurity Awareness weekend and we’ll be involved in chats on both Saturday and Sunday. Join us on Saturday as part of the day-long World Prematurity Network relay. We will be talking about parenting in the NICU at 1 PM ET. Make sure you use #worldprematurityday to fully engage.

On Sunday, which is actually World Prematurity Day, we will be discussing and sharing birth stories. Please come share your unique story with us throughout the afternoon. We can learn a lot from each other. Use #birthstories to be included in the thread.

We look forward to seeing you with us.

Join the World Prematurity Day chat

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

texting2Join us on Twitter on Friday November 16th at 3 PM ET to participate in a global relay on premature birth.

Hear from our global network partners: European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (Europe), @EFCNIwecare; Bliss Baby Charity (United Kingdom), @blisscharity; National Premmie Foundation (Australia), @premmfoundation; Little Big Souls International Foundation (Africa), @littlebigsoulsi; and others.

Parents from around the world are encouraged to take part and share their stories. Be sure to use #worldprematurityday to actively participate.

Although the relay chat is on Friday, Saturday November 17th is the actual World Prematurity Day. We will be tweeting and would love to see pictures of preemies from around the world. Please join us then and share your photos on #worldprematurityday.

Upcoming chats in November

Monday, October 29th, 2012

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and will be a busy month for us on Twitter. Here is a list of times for upcoming chats when you can join us, ask questions and share your stories. Set your reminders and we’ll see you then.

Nov 1 – Evening #preemiechat at 9pm EST (Postponed due to power outages. We will reschedule.)

Nov 9 – Micropreemies chat with Amanda Knickerbocker, #preemiechat @micropreemie, at 2pm EST

Nov 16 – World Prematurity Day global chat, #worldprematurityday, at 3pm EST

Nov 17 World Prematurity Day – We’ll be chatting all day, #preemiechat #worldprematurityday

Nov 20 – Family health history chat with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, #familyhealthhistory, at 1 pm EST

Nov 30 – #pregnancychat on preterm labor at 1pm EST (Changed to 3 PM ET)

World Prematurity Day

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

honeybeeThe global toll of preterm birth is harsh. We estimate that worldwide, 13 million babies are born too soon each year. More than 1 million of these premature babies die before their first birthday. Here is a story from one of our friends in England, Honeybee Mum.

My girl was born in Africa at 26 weeks. We don’t know what she weighed, nobody bothered to check. We do know she had a 1 minute APGAR of 8. Then she was put outside on a table to die. After 6 hours they realized she was still breathing and ventilated her. In a shared crib. After 5 weeks she was sent home to die, in order not to clutter up the hospital. Shocking? Yes, but not so very far adrift from many preemies’ arrival all round the world. Including ‘western’ preemies.

My girl’s determination, strength and character shine through all of this. 6 years later she has a list of diagnoses that scare many medical professionals. She attends mainstream school, and speaks or understands several languages. She defies the odds at every turn. And yet our frequent blue-light rides in her ‘special van’ (ambulance) terrify us every time. When she’s lying blue-grey on the floor and I can’t find her pulse – again – I am at my most distraught.

My girl wants to be a dancer. A chef. A paramedic. She wants to build houses and paint. She wants to walk like her friends. She wants her body to work properly. She wants to be able to feed herself. To have a wash by herself. And a thousand other little-huge dreams. She roars with frustration and anger, then reaches deep and finds the strength to try again and again and again. I learn from her. I learn most of all to share a love of life lived in the moment, all the while holding onto dreams of the future. Dream big and aim high. Meanwhile do what you can today. My girl has taught me this.

I was going to write about the poignancy of driving miles to a hospital that hopes it can cope with her needs, on World Preemie Day. I was going to stop harping on about the history and the past. But while our babies are still demanding to come early into the world, their stories need to be told. Over and over again, until the unaffected world leaders begin to listen and hear their (silent) shouts for equity. For the care and attention that should be their birthright, their due. For the tables and waiting places to be taken away for ever. For their ongoing needs to be addressed and supported. For proper research, at the point of prematurity and on and on into the future lives of the ‘unlucky’ ones. Because yes, some come away unscathed. The few and far between ones. The lucky ones. Their terror journey has ended. For so many of us, the rollercoaster will continue to an unthinkable ending.

This problem is truly global, affecting families everywhere. Although the vast majority of preterm births and related deaths occur in poor countries, families in wealthier nations are also at risk of having a baby born preterm. In fact, the number of premature babies born in the United States has increased 36 percent over the last 25 years.

The March of Dimes partners with organizations around the world to raise awareness of the problem of premature birth. Today, November 17, 2011 — World Prematurity Day — we are making a global effort to draw attention to the global crisis.

Our global alliance partners include the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), Little Big Souls International Foundation in Africa and the National Premmie Foundation in Australia. We welcome inquiries from organizations who are interested in supporting these efforts.