Since 2011 World Prematurity Day has been observed on 17th November each year to raise awareness of premature birth and the concerns of premature babies and their families worldwide. 15 million babies are born prematurely every year and one million of these will not survive. Sadly, prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under five.
Little Mouse is helping to raise awareness of World Prematurity Day and support parents of premature babies, with a competition to win £250 worth of our premature baby clothes and accessories.
In the UK 1 in 13 babies is born preterm which accounts for about 60,000 babies. Preterm babies have an increased risk of long-term illness and disability, with the severity of the complications depending on how early the baby is born. Thankfully in the UK developments in care have improved survival rates, but there is still a lot of research to do as the cause of most premature births is still unknown, and in less developed countries premature birth is more common and survival rates much worse.
Although some premature births are planned, an early arrival is usually a surprise and parents aren’t prepared with clothes small enough for their little one. This can cause extra stress to the new parents, and hospitals don’t usually have a budget to keep clothes in stock that they can lend. So during November we’re running a giveaway on Facebook where people can nominate their local neonatal ward to win a range of premature baby clothes and accessories worth £250.
Of course baby’s health is the main priority, but every parent dreams of dressing their baby in its first outfit, and in my time as a nurse I’ve seen so many parents despondent at having to dress their baby in clothing that’s too big and not appropriate for a tiny baby. Keeping a premature baby warm and comfortable is so important and appropriate clothing can play an important role in that. The hundreds of nominations we’ve had so far from nurses and parents of premature babies shows how much this means to them.
You can find out more about World Prematurity Day at bliss.org or tommys.org, both of these charities are part of the global network of charities that work towards reducing premature birth and improving babies outcomes.
To nominate a hospital to win the £250 giveaway search @littlemouseuk on Facebook or Instagram.