World Prematurity Day Advises: No Separation of Parents and Children


November 17 is World Prematurity Day – a time to raise awareness of pre-global age issues. This year, the theme is, “Separating Zero – Take Action Now! Save for parents and newborns. “The theme was born out of a desire to re-emphasize the importance of keeping parents and babies together, especially with preterm babies, even with the continuation of Covid.

With Covid, hospitals imposed stricter rules with care to prevent the spread of Covid. Unfortunately, this resulted in separation of the parents and infants, which had serious consequences for both parent and child. If you are pregnant, check with your health care provider in advance about their child and child care policy. Ask how Covid affects these points. Understanding these facts in advance can help you to plan for the future when you will be born prematurely.

According to March of Dimes, skin and skin care (also known as “kangaroo care”) benefits premature babies in the following ways:

  • Keep warm
  • Adjust breathing and heart rate
  • Body weight
  • Increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep, which is beneficial for growth
  • Spend more time calmly and quietly instead of crying
  • Improving breastfeeding opportunities

Skin to skin also benefits parents! It helps to reduce stress, increases closeness and attachment to your baby, increases your confidence in caring for the baby, and promotes milk production during breastfeeding.

If your baby is not well enough to hold it, there is another way to use a touch that is beneficial, called “hand hugging.” A hug is when you put one hand on the baby’s head and the other on the abdomen or around their feet. March of Dimes advises against massaging the baby as this can be a burden to the baby’s strength.

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