November is Prematurity Awareness Month.
In light of November being Prematurity Awareness Month I decided to try and share as much information as I can in this month to assist in creating awareness of something which is very close to my heart and occurs far too frequently in pregnancies. The statistics speak for themselves and hopefully by creating awareness of the need for proper medical care from the very beginning of your pregnancy you could greatly reduce the risk of experiencing preterm birth and save the lives of so many more beautiful babies.
As many as 1 in 7 pregnancies in South Africa end in preterm birth, which is considered to be any birth which occurs before 37 weeks gestation. Statistically this means that around 15% of all pregnancies will end with in a preterm birth. Of that 15%, less than 1% are estimated to be born under 28 weeks of gestation. Around 60% of all preterm births worldwide occur in Africa and South Asia. In countries where access to good medical care is available the statistics are fewer.
The causes of preterm birth are many. Sometimes preventable with the correct medical care, but never guaranteed. Some of the most common causes for preterm birth are stress, hypertension, expectant mothers who smoke, diabetes, being pregnant with multiple babies and infections. Some mothers find out what the cause was of their preterm deliveries, others never get medical clarification as the cause is simply unknown.
During the month of November I’ll be sharing some facts, figures and information as often as possible about prematurity.