My daughter was born five and a half weeks early. At 35 and a half weeks pregnant, this meant she was technically premature.
She already weighed more than six pounds, and I was fortunate to live in a country where I had access to excellent prenatal care and a safe, advanced hospital in which to deliver, so other than jaundice she was quite healthy. I was lucky.
So many other mothers aren’t. Premature birth is the number one cause of death during the first months of life. Of the 15 million babies born too soon each year, 1 million of them will die, and what’s worse, 75% of those deaths could be prevented through basic education.
It takes teaching mothers kangaroo care and how to breastfeed successfully. Teaching women and local health care providers how to prevent early births and reduce risk of infection during childbirth. Making sure people have access to steroids that help babies’ lungs mature when needed.
You can help ensure that the March of Dimes and other organizations working to prevent prematurity get the funds they need to equip clinics worldwide, conduct research and educate women by raising your voice on World Prematurity Day, this Saturday, November 17th.
You can join the March of Dimes’ World Prematurity Day Facebook page, and share your own story of prematurity if you have one. You can tweet a message of support using the hashtag #worldprematurityday. You can donate to the March of Dimes.
You can help save children’s lives. So speak up!!