World Prematurity Day is observed on November 17th each year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.
1 in 12 babies are born prematurely in Canada and these numbers are on the rise. By lighting buildings and monuments purple, The Canadian Premature Babies Foundation hopes to raise the profile and increase awareness of Prematurity in the hope of decreasing these numbers greatly
Here are some more stats specific to Canada:
- The proportion of infants born preterm in Canada is increasing.
- The Canadian rate of preterm birth in 2011/12 was 7.8% (29,000 infants/year)
- Children born preterm are at increased risk of lifelong neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, vision impairments and hearing loss.
- There are 32 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across Canada and approximately 100 neonatologists who provide care for preterm and sick babies. There are 135 hospitals across the country with either a special care nursery or NICU
“Internationally-acclaimed baby photographer Anne Geddes today unveiled an image of a baby born too soon that will be shared worldwide to raise awareness of the global problem of preterm birth.
Mrs. Geddes donated the image of Alfred, who was born 8 weeks too soon, weighing just two pounds, six ounces, to the March of Dimes, which made the photo the center of its 2014 World Prematurity Day campaign.” M.O.D.
Madison was also born too soon. On September 14th 2013 she was born 8 weeks early only weighing 4 pounds. She spent 24 days in the NICU at Ajax/Pickering Hospital. We are grateful to all the doctors, specialists and special care nurses who helped her take her first breath, helped keep her warm, fed, loved and who taught her to be a fighter. They will always hold a special place in our hearts and we are eternally grateful for their special gifts of working with our little preemie.
Today we wore purple to not only raise awareness but to celebrate all of the people and organizations who are trying to make a difference through research and new medical advances and to celebrate our little fighter who continues to amaze us each and everyday.