November 17: World Prematurity Day
Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death each year. With 15 million babies born too soon every year, this is a problem that cannot go unaddressed. Although the premature birth rate has fallen to its lowest rate in 15 years, there is still work to be done to research the cause and eliminate premature births in the United States and worldwide.
I would like to take this opportunity to share my own story of my experience giving birth to a premature infant at just 31 weeks gestation. My daughter entered the world 9 weeks to soon, but truly in God’s time. She was 3 lbs 8 oz of tiny perfection born at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children in Huntsville, AL. Despite her early arrival, I couldn't be happier with the care and support that we received during her time in the neonatal intensive care unit. By the grace of God, she was small but healthy.
My daughter remained in the hospital for exactly 4 weeks while she was gaining weight, and learning to eat. My husband and I would visit with her 4 times a day and were very involved in her care. A lot of times, we would arrive to the hospital emotionally drained to find gifts donated from local organizations and churches to lift our spirits and provide little souvenirs of our journey. Things like hand knitted hats, booties, blankets, and cheerful signs celebrating our daughter’s milestones.
This year, the March of Dimes is encouraging people to wear purple on November 17 to celebrate and raise awareness for World Prematurity Day. I will wear my purple proudly, and I hope you will do the same. Also, please visit the http://www.marchofdimes.com to find out more about premature births and find out ways that you can help. I hope that you will think of those in your life who have been affected by a premature birth and pledge to do something special in their honor.
Making a Difference on World Prematurity Day
Here are some ways that you can get involved:
- Wear purple on November 17th.
- Go to www.facebook.com/marchofdimes and like their page.
- Connect with a local neonatal intensive care unit and inquire about volunteer opportunities.
- Make a donation or connect with local groups at http://www.marchofdimes.com.
If you have a story that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.
Find out more by visiting http://www.KEMoms.com/ world-prematurity-day-november-17-2013.
What can you do to spread the word about World Prematurity Day?
Picture courtesy of Flickr
Karla Lee is a modern mother of two trying to raise humble, intelligent, successful, and God-fearing children while juggling household responsibilities and career aspirations. She is a part of a trio of bloggers at KEMoms.com.