Prematurity Awareness Month 2019 “Born Too Soon: Providing the Right Care, at the Right Time, in the Right Place.”

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Its purpose is for “organizations and individuals to come together to raise awareness about the seriousness of premature birth, and how dangerous it is worldwide.” In the United States, the organization, March of Dimes, has taken the lead in championing the awareness efforts for this public health crisis. According to the March of Dimes 15 million infants worldwide are born pre-term or premature every year.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explains that premature or pre-term birth refers to “a baby born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy.” The World Health Organization (WHO), further explains that “preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age, responsible for approximately 1 million deaths in 2015.”

WHO reports that some common causes for preterm birth are: multiple pregnancies, infections, genetic predispositions, diabetes, and high blood pressure.  However, there are some situations in which there is no known cause. WHO suggests that “Preventing deaths and complications from preterm birth starts with a healthy pregnancy. Quality care before, between and during pregnancies will ensure all women have a positive pregnancy experience.”

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