World Prematurity Day takes place every year in November, raising awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally.
But what date does it fall on, what is this year’s theme and how can people get involved?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is World Prematurity Day?
World Prematurity Day was initiated by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) and partnering European parent organisations in 2008.
The international co-founders LittleBigSouls (Africa), March of Dimes (USA) and National Premmie Foundation (Australia) joined the celebrations and made World Prematurity Day a global movement.
Individuals and organisations from more than 100 countries have also joined forces with activities, special events and a commitment to action to help address preterm birth and improve the situation of preterm babies and their families.
When is World Prematurity Day 2021?
World Prematurity Day takes place on Wednesday 17 November in 2021.
What is this year’s theme?
The global theme for World Prematurity Day 2021 is ‘Zero Separation’, with the tagline ‘Act now! Keep parents and babies born too soon together’.
The Unicef website said that in addition to the health challenges experienced by premature newborns, the “separation of parents from their babies contributes to severe and long-term health and developmental issues in newborns and also affects parents’ mental health in lasting ways”.
The charity said that this year’s World Prematurity Day theme “is an opportunity to advocate for every parent’s right to have unrestricted access to their babies in hospital, no matter where and when”.
- A baby might come into the world a little too soon but they are as strong as ever. Keep them safe and protect them. Take care, stay healthy and be safe on this World Prematurity Day
- Stand together and shine a light on prematurity on this day. Take care, stay healthy and be safe on this World Prematurity Day
- A premature baby might be tiny and small but they have a lot of courage, strength, and determination
- Our children are the greatest proof that miracles do exist
- You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have
- It’s ok to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave
- An ounce may not be much to you, but my parents smile every time I gain one
- Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations
- Hey little fighter, soon things will be brighter
How to get involved
The EFCNI website said: “Everyone is warmly invited to join this day with activities or events: parent organisations, hospitals, non-profit organisations, healthcare professionals, societies, companies, politicians, media, and individuals.”
There are a number of ways you can get involved with the event, with a resource pack also available on the EFCNI website.
The material for your World Prematurity Day activities are free download, with the EFCNI developing a new topic and new material each year in order to support the community and everyone who wishes to engage in World Prematurity Day, including social media graphics, banners and factsheets.
The Bliss Baby Charity also wrote on Twitter: “Today is #WorldPrematurityDay and Bliss wants more families to know they’re not alone
“We’re asking everyone who has been touched by a neonatal experience to share your story and raise awareness of what it means to have a baby or babies in neonatal care. #MyNeonatalStory.”
The NHS also shared information regarding premature labour and birth, writing on Twitter: “It's #WorldPrematurityDay. About 8 out of 100 babies will be born prematurely. Here we share information on premature labour and birth, and what you might expect if it happens.”