What is World Prematurity Day?
World Prematurity Day is part of a global movement that takes place on 17th November every year to raise awareness of preterm birth.
Every year, around 53,000 babies in the UK6 and around 4,500 babies in Ireland7 are born prematurely. The purpose of World Prematurity Day is to raise awareness of this important issue and the hurdles that babies and parents face. It also highlights the support available to help overcome these challenges.
World Prematurity Day History
The event started in 20084, formed by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) and partnering European parent organisations. These were later joined by their international counterparts – LittleBigSouls (Africa), March of Dimes (USA) and National Premmie Foundation (Australia).
Together, these organisations have turned World Prematurity Day into a global event that shines a light on the topic of premature birth.
What Is Prematurity Awareness Month?
Prematurity Awareness Month is a month-long effort to raise the profile of premature births. It features a host of activities, campaigns and events that strive to build awareness throughout November. Organisations use the campaign to seek life-saving donations for those affected.
WaterWipes: So Gentle They Can Be Used On Premature Babies
Designed to be purer than cotton wool and water, WaterWipes provide gentle cleansing for the most delicate newborn skin. You can use them on babies from birth, as well as premature babies.
They’re plastic-free*, vegan and cruelty-free and have just two ingredients – 99.9% water with a drop of fruit extract. Many neonatal intensive care units throughout the UK, Ireland, the US, Australia and New Zealand use them because they are so gentle and pure.
Our Work With Bliss & INHA
We’re proud of our partnership with Bliss and INHA, fully supporting the organisations’ fantastic work. Bliss was founded in 1979 by a group of concerned parents and seeks to provide every premature and sick baby with the care they deserve.
It does this through research and campaigns, as well as providing vital information and ongoing support to premature parents.
This alternative approach focuses not only on supporting the baby but also the family and healthcare professionals.
It brought about a massive change in how neonatal units care and operate. Back in the 1970s, funding for neonatal units was almost non-existent. A lack of staff training, equipment and facilities meant that up to 60% of referrals struggled to get accepted.
Today, neonatal care is a highly specialised service. Over 100,000 babies receive specialist, often life-saving care, every year. Nearly 200 units operate across the UK, working together in networks to ensure as many babies as possible are born in the right place, at the right time, and as close to home as possible.2
The INHA represents the interests of preterm and ill infants in Ireland. It was the brainchild of a group of parents who had all experienced a preterm birth. Today the INHA consists of families affected by preterm birth, multi-disciplinary healthcare experts, educators, researchers, political decision-makers, and industry partners who share the common goal of reducing the incidence of preterm birth in Ireland and improving the long-term health of preterm infants.
Every Pack Gives Back
To mark World Prematurity Day, WaterWipes have partnered with Tesco UK and Tesco Ireland in an “every pack gives back” initiative. During the month of November, each single pack of WaterWipes bought in a Tesco store will result in a donation of 50p or 50c to Bliss or INHA, respectively, to support the ongoing work of these life-changing charities.
Why is World Prematurity Day purple?
World Prematurity Day is purple because the colour represents sensitivity and kindness5. This fits in with the caring nature of the cause and sensitive subject.
What is the symbol of World Prematurity Day?
The symbol of World Prematurity Day is a small pair of purple socks within full-size baby socks. This represents one of the most important facts that World Prematurity Day brings to light – that one in 13 babies is born prematurely.
What is the purpose of World Prematurity Day?
The purpose of World Prematurity Day is to raise awareness of babies born prematurely. It does so with the collective efforts of everyone involved, to ensure that parents and neonatal clinics get the help they need.
Bliss. Statistics about neonatal care [online]. Available from: https://www.bliss.org.uk/research-campaigns/research/neonatal-care-statistics/statistics-about-neonatal-care [Last Accessed: April 2023].
Bliss. Prematurity statistics in the UK [online]. Available from: https://www.bliss.org.uk/research-campaigns/research/neonatal-care-statistics/prematurity-statistics-in-the-uk [Last Accessed: April 2023].
Survey conducted amongst 123 parents to gather insights from parents of babies born premature or sick and are cared for in the neonatal unit. Research conducted September 2019.
[Last updated: November, 2023]