World Prematurity Day was November 17th. This day means a lot to me because my twin brother and I were born four months premature, on Christmas Eve, in the mid-nineteen nineties. I feel so grateful for all of the doctors and nurses that helped us and saved our lives.
What Does A Premature Baby Mean?
According to the March of Dimes, a premature baby is defined as one who is born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The Healthy Newborn Network states, “Every year, 15 million babies are born premature-more than one in ten babies all around the world.” Most people know someone who was born prematurely themselves or a mom who gave birth to someone being premature!
Prematurity Around The World
All around the world, women deserve the best healthcare for when they are pregnant and after their babies are born.
Will Premature Babies Grow Up With Disabilities?
Due to my prematurity, I have scoliosis and struggle with fine motor skill issues. My brain works at a slower pace than most. Dr. Deborah Campbell, the director of neonatology at the Children’s Hospital of Montefiore in New York City, states: “In general, the vast majority of individuals born preterm won’t be severely impacted or disabled. Overall, most will be functioning and contributing adults.”
On the flip side, studies show that premature babies have an “older brain.” One study affirmed, “Upon further investigation, the team found that the reduced gray matter volume identified in very preterm participants was associated with accelerated brain maturation. As a result, the brains of the preterm subjects appeared older than those of the controls.”
Babies everywhere deserve to live and deserve the care to save their lives. Doctors and nurses of the NICU are heroes. Although I’m not a parent, I cannot imagine watching my children fight for their lives at such a young age. I take my survivor mindset into everything I do, and I honor all of the babies who couldn’t make it.