Chances are you know someone who had a premature baby, or maybe you even had one yourself. Let’s celebrate the preemie babies this month by going over facts and statistics, and discovering some well-known famous individuals who were born prematurely.
First, What is a Preemie?
To be considered premature, a baby is born before 39 weeks. Prematurity used to mean a baby born before 37 weeks but The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG), along with the Society for Material-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) revealed new changes and guidelines. The changes are a result of research and findings of the outcomes of babies who were born around 37 and 38 weeks.
Research indicates that babies born before 39 weeks are at an increased risk of being admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). They are at a 20 percent greater risk for complications such as sepsis, temperature problems, cerebral palsy, feeding, and breathing. Additionally, they are five percent more likely to have a developmental or intellectual disability, and they have a 50 percent increased risk of death during their first year of life. Babies born at 39 weeks or after tend to have a better outcome.
Causes of Premature Birth
It’s normal for mothers to blame themselves for a premature birth but usually, it’s due to a complex situation that is hard to prevent. Some causes could be:
- Multiple fetuses in utero
- Placental separation
- Heavy bleeding
Interesting Facts about Premature Births
- The rate of premature births has dropped for the seventh consecutive year in the United States.
- The federal government had a goal to reduce preterm birth from 12.7 percent in 2007 to 11.4 percent by the year 2020. With these figures, it shows that the United States has hit this goal seven years ahead of time.
- Although the rates have dropped significantly, the United States still has one of the highest rates of preterm birth compared to other high-resource countries.
Famous Preemies You Likely Know
As a mother, all you want is for your baby to be healthy. Anything that could jeopordize the health of your little one can be overwhelming and devistating. While there can be health issues that arise with preemies, you should know that there are many babies who do just fine in the end. In fact, many can go on to do phenominal things like some of the famous individuals below:
Mark Twain – He is an accomplished writer who was born two months premature.
Napoleon Bonaparte – One of the greatest and well-known military leaders in history. He has a small statute that is due to his premature birth.
Albert Einstein – He was born prematurely in Germany when neonatology was basically nonexistent. He went on to create phenomenal work in science and math.
Victor Hugo – A French novelist who is known for creating Les Miserable. He was born as a preemie in 1802.
Winston Churchill – A statesman and British politician who was born in 1874 as a preemie.
Sidney Potier – Film director, activist, and award-winning actor.
Anna Pavlova – She grew up to become one of the world’s most well-known ballerinas, despite being born two months early.
Premature babies are blessings. They show us that despite a little struggle, you can be strong and fight, and everything turns out okay. Do you have a preemie story to share? We would love to hear!