September was NICU Awareness Month, and now November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Each of these do deserve their own months because babies can be in the NICU for many other reasons aside from being born premature.
Preemies can face different challenges than full term babies, and us as parents have different experiences.
Any baby born before 37 weeks is considered premature.
According to the March of Dimes:
March of Dimes (link)
In the United States, about 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year. The preterm birth rate (the percent of babies born before 37 weeks each year) is 9.8 percent in the United States. This means 1 in 10 babies is born too soon. The U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of high-resource nations.
Preterm birth affects so many babies and families!
When my daughter was born, I knew of one other friend of a friend who had a preemie. Since then, I found out there were other people I didn’t realize who had preemies and more people I know have had their babies prematurely.
My preterm birth was caused by preeclampsia , but sometimes it is not known why babies are born early. If there is something that can be done to have prevent preterm birth, then for me this is an important area for research.
As a mom of a preemie I have written several posts relating to prematurity. These can help give you more information and understand preemies. I am posting the links below. I also have a page full of resources for parents of preemies. If you are a parent of a preemie I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment below!
- What it means when a baby is a preemie
- What is adjusted age vs actual age
- Learning about Intrauterine Growth Restriction
- Isolation after a NICU stay
- Preemie parent resource guide