At the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and the National Premature Infant Health Coalition (NPIHC), we recognize the courage, commitment, and resilience of those whose lives have been turned upside down by premature birth. That’s why we’re proud to support Parents of Preemies Day, a day of awareness bringing together families, neonatal ICUs, and prematurity professionals on Sunday, March 10th.
Each year, 13 million babies across the globe – and nearly half a million here in the U.S. – are born prematurely to parents who never expected their birth experiences to be so challenging. Though medical advances continue to improve outcomes for preemies, we’re just now beginning to understand and address the profound psychological, emotional, and social effects preterm birth can have on moms, dads, and entire families.
This year marks the second annual observance of Parents of Preemies Day, which in 2013 will broaden from a national to a global audience. Families of preemies can find support and share their stories of hope and resilience at local events across the United States, as well as during a March 10th live Twitter chat and on the Parents of Preemies Day Facebook page.
Neonatal ICU professionals – who play a critical role in helping families face the challenges prematurity brings – can take part in Parents of Preemies Day in a number of ways, such as hosting or helping with a Parents of Preemies Day event in their local area, spreading the world through hospital newsletters and through social media, joining the global Twitter chat, providing meals or snacks at the NICU on March 10th to celebrate parents, or purchasing “Proud Parent of a Preemie” buttons to distribute.
Among the ways friends of preemie parents can support the effort: Consider taking gifts, snacks, or other treats to your local NICU, or hosting or volunteering at a Parents of Preemies Day event. You can also join the March 10th Twitter chat, or honor your favorite preemies families with photos and posts on social media… just for starters.
We’ll observe Parents of Preemies Day on the National Premature Infant Health Coalition (NPIHC) Facebook page and on HMHB’s Twitter handle. Please join us in these spaces to honor and celebrate parents of preemies, and to share your own story. Taking part and spreading the word is a natural extension of NPIHC’s mission of bringing partners together to communicate, educate, and advocate in the field of prematurity – and of HMHB’s 31-year history promoting healthy moms, babies, and families through collaborative efforts. We look forward to joining with you and with many partners from the prematurity field on March 10th, in support and appreciation of preemie parents!