From the editor’s desk: Premature births

This is Prematurity Awareness Month and November 17 is World Prematurity Day.

Here’s a message from the March of Dimes:

“November 17 is World Prematurity Day. Every year, 13 million babies are born prematurely worldwide. A million of them never get to celebrate their first birthday, and many more face serious, lifelong health challenges. Raising awareness of this common and serious problem is the first step to defeating it. Visit and change your status to show your support. Learn about the progress we’re making in preventing premature birth at”

According to the CDC a baby born before 37 weeks is premature, but the March of Dimes is concerned with some babies who are born even later than that. Their Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait campaign emphasizes the health benefits of avoiding elective delivery before 39 weeks. This great post at Birthing Beautiful Ideas lists more efforts to encourage parents and healthcare providers to  allow labor to begin in its own time.

Here at Pagan Families Niki and Janet have both previously mentioned how premature birth has touched them.

Let’s share the stories; share the resources from March of Dimes, the CDC, and other public health organizations; and weave our magic to keep babies gestating as long as they need to.

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About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is founding editor of Pagan Families, the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year, and former Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.