World Prematurity Day: Early Birth and Cerebral Palsy

November 17th is World Prematurity Day and the Cerebral Palsy community is as tied to the problems caused by premature birth as any other. Premature delivery is frequently associated with a wide number of issues for babies due to their lack of development, including those conditions such as low oxygen that can ultimately lead to a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. For that reason alone, all parents of children with Cerebral Palsy would be best served by raising awareness around this cause in order to help future parents avoid premature birth and the lifetime of effects associated with this condition.

Organized through the March of Dimes, World Prematurity Day is about educating as many people as possible about the risks that can lead to a premature delivery. According to their Facebook page,

“15 million babies are born preterm around the world – that’s 1 in 10. More than 1 million babies die before their first birthday due to complications from preterm birth, and many of those who do survive face a lifetime of disability.”

One of those recognized complications of premature birth is Cerebral Palsy, which can range in severity but frequently involves challenges for decades to come. Some of the challenges involved with a premature birth resulting in Cerebral Palsy can include, but are not limited to:

  • Limited mobility
  • Learning problems
  • Therapy
  • Constant medical requirements

So what can you do for World Prematurity Day? Per the March of Dimes Page, the suggested efforts include:

  • Get the word out throughout the year, either through a simple message on social media highlighting the day or (our suggestion) letting people know about the occasion and the importance of regular check-ups and testing during pregnancy.
  • Posting on November 17th about the importance of World Prematurity Day.
  • Download and share their Infographic on premature birth.
  • Changing your cover image to one provided by the organization.

Premature birth can in many instances be avoided or at least limited (by extending the pregnancy) with regular prenatal visits, good patient education and proper medical procedures and technique. Medications can frequently be given to slow or even halt premature labor. Steroids can be given to advance fetal lung maturity, and a surgical procedure is available to stitch the mother’s cervix closed to prevent premature dilatation of her cervix. We hope that World Prematurity Day serves as a way For more information about birth injuries, premature birth or other topics related to Cerebral Palsy, contact us today by calling (800) 692-4453 or filling out a form for one of our many kits.

Image credit: March of Dimes