Prematurity Awareness Day - Project Baby Madeline

  1. 9

    November is Prematurity Awareness Month with World Prematurity Day celebrated yearly on November 17. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the risks associated with preterm births, the efforts to educate and prevent pre-term births as well as give more babies a healthy start in life.

    Prematurity Awareness Day - Project Baby Madeline

    The Problem

    According to the CDC, premature birth is the biggest contributor for infant death, with most preterm-related deaths occurring among infants who were born before 32 weeks. There are an estimated 15 million preterm births each year resulting in almost 1 million deaths due to complications. Surviving preterm infants may spend weeks or months hospitalized in an NICU and may face lifelong problems such as intellectual and learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, respiratory problems, visual problems, feeding and digestive problems, and hearing loss.


    The WHO states that while more than 60% of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia, preterm birth is a global problem. In 2014, 1 of every 10 babies in the United States was born prematurely. It is no surprise that survival rates for preterm infants is dramatically lower in lower-income countries.

    Risk Factors

    Although most preterm deliveries happen spontaneously, some are due to early induction or C-section for medical or non-medical reasons. Other risk factors include:

    • Previous preterm births
    • Multiple pregnancy (twins or more)
    • Chronic maternal health problems - hypertension, diabetes, clotting disorders
    • Smoking, alcohol and illegal drug use during pregnancy

    Measures to improve health and lower the risk of preterm delivery

    • Quit smoking
    • Avoid alcohol and illicit drugs
    • Good prenatal care
    • Control hypertension and diabetes
    • Healthy diet and prenatal vitamins
    • Consider using progesterone medication (17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate, or 17P) if history of preterm birth

    Project Baby Madeline

    Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin will be sharing a very special event this Prematurity Awareness Day. On November 16, 17, and 18 at 1pm CT / 2pm ET, they will go live from their NICU to offer a glimpse inside the intricate care that goes into helping a four pound neonate survive, sharing their daily thoughts and answering your questions as they hand over the camera to one mom to share her story. This will be led by one of the NICU nurses in an effort to bring awareness to the issue of prematurity that continues to affect families around the globe and to give hope and strength to others going through a similar experience.

    Baby Madeline was born in July, 2015 at 24 weeks gestation, weighing just over one pound. Her parents had traveled to Children’s Hospital in Wisconsin for care after learning that the twins they were pregnant with suffered from twin-to-twin-transfusion syndrome (TTTS), an imbalance in the blood flow between identical twins who share a placenta. Madeline was getting too much while her twin, Lydia, was not getting enough. Lydia sadly passed away after birth. But Madeline survived. And today, after three months in the NICU, she continues to get stronger.

    Baby Madeline is not alone. Join her family. See through the eyes of the most delicate patient.

    How to participate and watch live

    There are two ways you can join the live broadcast:

    • Watch on Periscope: Follow Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin on Periscope on your mobile phone or tablet, then look for the live broadcasts starting at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT each day. You can download the Periscope app for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
    • Watch on Twitter: You can watch the live broadcasts via Twitter from any computer or mobile device. Simply follow Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin on Twitter and look for the links at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT each day November 16, 17, and 18.

    For more information about this broadcast, go to

    Edited to add videos of daily broadcasts

    This is the first of the Baby Madeline videos from November 16, 2015

    My highest appreciation and respect go to those of you who work with the tiniest of patients. You are there to protect and care for all their needs, including providing loving human touch. You work with their parents, educating and calming their fear. I’m sure you have many special memories of the numerous little wee ones you have helped to launch into the world. Please share some of those memories with us.
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Nov 17, '15
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?

  2. Visit tnbutterfly profile page

    About tnbutterfly, BSN, RN Admin

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 25,205; Likes: 18,191
    allnurses Community Manager; from US
    Specialty: 30+ year(s) of experience in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg

    Read My Articles


  3. by   quiltynurse56
    Thanks for this information. I plan on sharing with my daughter who's soon to be 4 year old was a 27 weeker. I admire the NICU nurses.
  4. by   friggasdistaff
    A NICU Nurse saved my daughter's life, and she is the reason I am in nursing school today!
  5. by   Yesutor
    Thank to the NICU nurses.
    my cousin nearly lost her beautiful baby girl if not for the special and attentive care of the NICU nurses. I respect you greatly
  6. by   KatieMI
    Thank you, NICU nurses!

    (proud mama of another premee who is doing great and loves math!)
  7. by   SoldierNurse22
    Thanks for the article! We deliver a lot of premature kiddos on my L&D unit, many of whom are born prematurely for avoidable reasons. Premature birth is a serious issue and needs to be conveyed as such, especially to pregnant moms!
  8. by   tnbutterfly
    Today's broadcast is live now.
  9. by   tnbutterfly
    Part 1 video of Baby Madeline has been added to the article as well as here.

    The family, nurse and a neonatologist will be going live again today, World Prematurity Day, Nov 17 at 2pm ET / 1pm CT.

    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Nov 17, '15
  10. by   FutureRNgir
    Thank you NICU for all that you do!