This year, on 17 November, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust will be, quite literally, shining a light on the challenges and risks brought about by premature births. Trust hospital buildings including Pinderfields Hospital and Dewsbury District Hospital will be illuminated in the campaign colour, purple, to emphasise commitment to the cause.
It is reported that every year, over ten percent of the 130 million babies born worldwide are preterm, before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy. That is around one in ten babies.
Globally, preterm birth is the leading cause of death in children under five years of age. Additionally, preterm birth survivors may face a higher risk of developing short and long-term health impairments, such as learning disabilities or hearing problems, compared to term-born infants. Preterm birth can also bring considerable emotional and financial consequences to families.
In support of World Prematurity Day, the Trust’s Neonatal staff will be wearing specially made t-shirts to spark conversations about the day and displaying useful campaign resources including support services and hints and tips in caring for premature babies, such as the importance of skin-to-skin contact.
From the moment of birth, skin-to-skin contact has many benefits for both mother and baby, including; improved thermal regulation, infection prevention, breastmilk let-down, positive facilitation of physiological, behavioural, psychosocial, and neurodevelopmental effects, and a reduced risk of neonatal mortality by 40%.
Talib Yaseen, Chief Nursing Officer at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “In supporting World Prematurity Day we hope to raise awareness of preterm birth and the challenges that can arise for the baby and their families, whilst ensuring we signpost families to the right information, advice and support services.”
For information about The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Neonatal unit, visit: www.midyorks.nhs.uk/neonatal