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World Prematurity Awareness Month

The month of November has the designation of being World Prematurity Awareness Month.

In 2003, The March of Dimes launched the World Prematurity Awareness Month campaign in the United States to bring awareness to the problems associated with premature births. November 17 was given the designation of World Prematurity Awareness Day. In 2008, the campaign was expanded to include countries around the world.

What is a premature baby? A premature baby is a baby that is born before 37 full weeks of completed pregnancy. Usually the baby's bodily organs are not fully developed and in many cases cannot function properly without external help that includes medications, help with breathing, eating, and physical therapy.

It is estimated that there are more than a half million premature babies born in the United States each year and millions more are born around the world, especially in developing countries.

Although many premature babies go on to live normal, healthy lives, many others are born with life long health issues that range from mild to severe mental and physical abnormalities.

Many of the disabilities associated with premature births can be avoided if babies are carried full term or as close to full term as possible. This is why the need for pre-natal care is imperative.

The health of both the mother and the baby should be monitored regularly by a physician from the beginning of the pregnancy until the baby is born. No exceptions should be made.

World Prematurity Awareness Month was set up to educate both men and women about the risks associated with childbirth. If people are educated and precautions are taken, there will be less chances of having a premature baby, which would be in the best interest of the baby and everyone involved.

The World Prematurity Awareness Month campaign has brought much needed attention to premature births. While the number of premature childbirths are still unexceptable, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of premature babies born in the U. S. since World Prematurity Awareness Month was launched. Still, much work needs to be done to lower those numbers even more.

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