The weakest and yet the strongest; the smallest of the youngest, fighting for life from the first moments of their sudden appearance in the world. Every tenth child in the world is a premature baby, approximately 24,000 of them are born annually in Poland. They are born prematurely, and then the fight for their lives and health begins, fought by neonatologists, midwives and parents. November 17 is the day when we especially remember premature babies.
A premature baby is a baby born between the 22nd and 37th week of pregnancy. Some premature babies weigh almost 3 kg and are developing well. But there are also those who were born weighing less than a kilogram and have many neurological, cardiological and pulmonary problems.
Poems for a premature baby
“There is a day on the calendar map / Which sometimes drips from the sky / And blows a sharp cold into the eyes / But the whole world laughs purple”: this is a fragment of a poem by Professor Katarzyna Maria Borszewska-Kornacka, an excellent neonatologist, today the president of the Coalition Foundation for… A premature baby.
– Every year we prepare something special to celebrate prematurely born children and their parents. This year, we published a book of poetry titled “Little Miracles – Poems Written with Tenderness” and illustrated by premature babies, says Elżbieta Brzozowska, vice-president of the Foundation. The volume contains touching poems by neonatologists who save premature babies, parents and friends of premature babies.
“You made this difficult decision too early / Because you wanted to be famous, because you were bored (…) Although you have small hands, but a wonderful soul / Even though your small body fits in your hands (…) You will become prime minister, they will elect you king / Be sure to move us, either with a brush or with a pen/ You will discover a new drug, History knows examples of premature babies/ As great as the one from EMC squared/ Or gravity forces, he was also a premature baby” – this is a fragment of a song for premature babies, written by Prof. Ryszard Lauterbach, neonatologist, pediatrician, president of the Polish Neonatological Society, who saved many premature babies.
The poetry books were delivered to neonatal wards and are also provided free of charge to parents who request them via the foundation’s social media.
Systemic challenges in the care of premature infants
Systemic activities are an important part of the foundation’s activities. – Together with the Polish Neonatal Society and the national supervision, this year we conducted a dialogue with the Ministry of Health, the aim of which was to expand the RSV infection prevention program for children born prematurely. This is a huge achievement in 2023, because today a very wide group of premature babies, children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and children with congenital heart defects have access to immunization. Our Foundation also initiated the creation of the Coalition for the prevention of RSV infections, the aim of which is to educate society and draw the attention of decision-makers to the need to monitor infections and introduce modern methods of prevention for all children up to 2 years of age and for pregnant women in order to reduce the number of infections, and consequently, hospitalization of children and sick leave for child care – explains Prof. Ph.D. n. med. Maria Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka, president of the Coalition for a Premature Child Foundation.
There are many challenges when it comes to caring for premature babies. These include:
implementation of the KORD pilot program for coordinated newborn care, and then expanding it to the whole of Poland,
midwives’ patronage visits, separately for mothers and separately for premature babies, when the babies are discharged from the hospital after many weeks,
the presence of the mother at all times with the premature baby, and therefore a change in the hospital infrastructure and an improvement in the valuation of the mother’s stay in the ward,
the possibility of starting maternity leave after the discharge of a premature baby from the hospital, sick leave for child care during the period of many weeks of hospitalization of the baby after the premature birth,
providing pregnant women with free vaccinations against dangerous pathogens that may pose a threat to children – such as influenza, whooping cough, RSS virus, it is also important to educate pregnant women about the benefits of vaccinations against influenza and COVID-19.
The book of poems in PDF format can be found on the Foundation’s website: https://www.koalicjadlawczasniaka.pl/user/pages/03.edukacja/04.poradniki-do-pobranie/01.tomik-wierszy-male-cuda/Male_cuda_tomik_wierszy_FKdW.pdf
source: Coalition for a Premature Baby Foundation