World Prematurity Day 2019 - 17th November

World Prematurity Day is commemorated every year to raises awareness of preterm birth and how to deal with it.

World Prematurity Day 2019 - 17th November
World Prematurity Day 2019 - 17th November

Premature birth is the leading health problem and leading cause of death under the age of five worldwide. According to doctor babies who born too early may have more health issue than babies born at normal time. Premature babies face long term health problems that affect their brain, heart, lungs hearing or vision and other vital organs.  

World prematurity day is celebrated every year on 17th November to raises awareness of preterm birth and do call attention to the heavy burden of suffering, disability and death that prematurity can cause as well as a chance to talk about solutions. The first world prematurity day was celebrated in 2011.

According to the World Health Organization, Every year an estimated, 15 mullions babies are born prematurely (before normal value of gestation age).  

More than 60% of preterm births occur in Africa, Asia and Indian subcontinent, but preterm birth is a global problem.

Complications of preterm birth are the leading cause of death under five years of age. It is responsible for approximately 1 million deaths. Most of these deaths could be prevented with cost effective interventions. Preterm babies need extra care to survive and to live healthy life.  

World prematurity Day 2019 theme is “Born Too Soon: Providing the right care at the right time, in the right place.

What is prematurity?  

 Preterm birth is a baby that is born before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy.  Premature babies those born very early have several medical problems.

There are subcategories of preterm birth.

Extremely preterm: Born at or before 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Very preterm: Born between 28 to 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Moderate preterm: Born between 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Late preterm: Born between 34 to 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Causes of preterm birth: The causes of preterm births are unknown, but certain factors increase a woman’s risk to preterm labor. Lots of things increase premature labor. Some of them are following.

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  • Using steroids drugs during pregnancy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Infections
  • High blood pressure/ preeclampsia
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Genetic influence/ family or personal history of labor
  • Getting pregnant too soon/ pregnancy spacing less than six months
  • Abnormal uterus
  • Cervix opening early

Signs of prematurity:

There are some signs of prematurity giving below:

  • Small size with large head
  • Lanugo covering the body
  • Low birth weight
  • Abnormal breathing pattern
  • Less body fat
  • Lower muscle tone
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Lack of reflexes for sucking and swallowing
  • Soft, flexible ear cartilage
  • Shiny skin that is often transparent

Complications of prematurity:

Some problems may occur in preterm babies.

  • Breathing  problems due to immature lungs
  • Neurological  problems due to immature brain
  • Hypothermia
  • Heart problems
  • Necrotizing enterocolits
  • low blood sugar
  • Immune system problems
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Poor coordination

How to Prevent preterm birth: The best way to prevent prematurity are:  

  • Educate to mothers about various problems during pregnancy
  • Institutional or hospital deliveries to be encouraged
  • Get prenatal care until the baby is born
  • Take proper nutrition/ healthy diet
  • Drinking lots of water every day
  • Management of anemia and high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Avoid smoking, illegal drugs