World Prematurity Day and Young Mothers

Fellow "early mama" Christina (who has been featured here, and who did our Cooler Music series here), let me know that today is World Prematurity Day — a day to bring awareness to the 1 in 8 babies born prematurely in the U.S. (13 million worldwide), to celebrate the babies who have made it, and to remember the babies who didn't.

If you read Christina's Q+A, you'll remember she gave birth to her beautiful triplets (Oliver, Quinn, and Zoey) when she was 24 years old. What you might not know is that her babies were born prematurely and spent five weeks in the NICU. Just by looking at the above photos, you can see how far they've come in 8 months. But still, today is a reminder of her miracles.

Of course Christina's situation was unique, but the fact is that younger moms are at a greater risk for prematurity. Not so much for 20-something moms, but for the teen mom readers. According to the March of Dimes, teen mothers are more likely to give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, putting those babies at an increased risk for health problems, long-term disabilities, and even death. In fact prematurity is the number one killer of newborns.

That prematurity risk drops once the mother is 20 years old and spikes again after 40. But using Christina as an example, age isn't the only factor in carrying to term.

Read more of Christina's NICU story here, and take a few minutes to browse the March of Dimes Web site to learn more about the risks and consequences of prematurity. And above all, keep those preemie babies in your thoughts, as well as the mothers who weren't able to take their babies home.

Thank you for sharing your photos, Christina. It's amazing to see how far they've come.