What is the common link in these names? Yes, they were all born too soon. Preterm. Premature. Privileged.
While other parents are counting happy milestones: baby’s first smile, first step, first words,the parents of premature babies wait with baited breaths for the “catch up” growth. Premature babies aren’t just small. Many of them, more than one million babies each year, won’t even make it to their first birthday.
Premature birth does not choose its favorites and knows no borders.
World Prematurity Day –was assigned to shine light on the 15 million lives who were born too soon, some to survive, some to succumb to the various demands of a complicated birth.
To the best of our knowledge, this concept of celebrating the success of “preemies” was the first of its kind in India. On 17th November-the official World Prematurity Day,about 30-40 kids ranging from age 1 to 8 years ,all of them who survived a premature birth gathered to share their experiences at Apollo Auditorium. The parents, all of whom we had interacted with during their pregnancies , spoke passionately about their journey so far, their difficulties ,their worries and their expectations. It was also a session where the parents interacted with the paediatricians updating each other about the child’s progress. Some of the parents were counseled regarding the “catch-up growth” that their child would have as the time progresses.
Where the parents found company in others’ experiences ,the kids basked in the entertainment programmes that were arranged for them. A host of children’s games, balloons, music, dance, singing, children’s tattoos, etc kept them engaged. It was endearing to watch our little preemies all fit and full of life, unknown to the challenges they faced when they were born.
‘”Purple” was the theme colour and our auditorium was bedecked with purple balloons and festoons. We hope that the celebrations and interactions with parents of older children gave the other parents the confidence and patience to deal with their own kids.
On a more academic note, we had organized a CME for obstetricians and neonatologists on 27th November,Apollo Auditorium to spread the awareness regarding methods of detection of preterm birth (universal cervical screening at the 5th month scan ),identifying the causes ,care at birth, etc.We appreciate all the obstetricians and neonatologists who spared time to attend this session to decrease the incidence of preterm births.
Important excerpts from the session would be updated on the blog soon.