World Prematurity Day

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This page duplicated from the March of Dimes website accessed 1/4/18.

World Prematurity Day

Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide. Babies born too early may have more health issues than babies born on time, and may face long-term health problems that affect the brain, the lungs, hearing or vision. World Prematurity Day on November 17 raises awareness of this serious health crisis. Throughout the month we draw attention to the lifesaving research, treatments and community support made possible when we work together to give every baby a fighting chance.

On November 17 we ask you to take action to support the global movement. Many organizations in the U.S. and worldwide conduct advocacy, education and awareness events in their communities on World Prematurity Day. Social media is another way to get involved. You can change your profile pictures to a World Prematurity Day one on Facebook and Twitter to help raise awareness, and sign up to automatically post a message of support and awareness to your social media community on November 17. Be sure to post photos to social media with #givethemtomorrow and #worldprematurityday. For more actions, visit the March of Dimes Give them tomorrow page. You can also find events in your community on the March of Dimes Facebook page. And you can easily get involved by going purple — that includes wearing purple to represent the March of Dimes and prematurity awareness, lighting your home or office purple and getting creative to inspire others to raise awareness by going purple.

This is a critical moment in our fight. In 2016, the nation’s preterm birth rate worsened for the first time in eight years. Check out the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card to see how the United States has taken a step backward. The current U.S. preterm birth rate is 9.6 percent — that’s a “C” grade amidst widening differences in prematurity rates across races and ethnicities. These Report Card grades give us a snapshot of the work we have yet to do. Please join us and the World Prematurity Network*, a global coalition of consumer and parent groups, to fight for the health of all babies on World Prematurity Day, all month and throughout the year. Join this global movement to save the smallest among us.

*World Prematurity Network members include: The European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), Europe; LittlebigSouls International Foundation, Africa; National Premmie Foundation, Australia; Home for Premature Babies, China; Bliss, United Kingdom; Borngreat Foundation, Africa; Con Amor Venceras, Mexico; the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation, Canada; and Prematuridade de Brazil, Brazil.