Press Release – Canadian Premature Babies Foundation Launches
One in 10 Canadians born premature
Edmonton, Alberta, November 13, 2012 – One in 10 babies are born too early, according to the World Health Organization. Premature newborns are the largest pediatric patient group in Canada but there is little awareness in the public about pre-term birth and associated health complications. November 17 is World Prematurity Day – a day to raise awareness of the challenges premature babies and their families face.
November 17 will also see the launch of the first national, Canadian-based organization for premature babies. This organization will become a voice and source of information for families and their children. Katharina Staub, an Edmonton-based advocate and mother of premature twins, founded the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation (CPBF).
"As the mother of premature twins born at 27 weeks gestation in 2008, I am lucky as my children were fortunate to have access to very good care. During the twins’ stay in hospital many experiences were distressing and new. I was convinced that there needed to be an increase in public awareness about prematurity and better information and education of parents during pregnancy," says Katharina Staub.
The Foundation’s mission is three-fold; to reduce preterm birth through education and research, to support the best standards of care for premature babies, and to give premature babies and their families a voice across Canada.
Regarding advocacy, Katharina Staub is clear on what is needed – free parking at hospitals to allow for optimal family involvement with their newborn, lobby for extended parental leave when babies are in NICU and overall, raise political awareness of prematurity and what it means to society.
Katharina Staub adds: "Any parent who has had a premature child can relate to my advocacy platform. The extra burden and responsibility that is placed on parents and families shoulders can be huge. My goal is to bring light to what is a growing issue to our society. A few mindful changes can make the world of difference to the next generation of premature children."
Dr. Leonora Hendson, neonatologist in Edmonton, and a founding force for Canadian Premature Babies Foundation: "We recognize World Prematurity Day to raise awareness that prematurity is a public health concern, and to highlight the impact of prematurity. For many of us, preventing prematurity and improving the outcomes of prematurely born children is our life work. For others, this is their everyday reality – children and families have personally experienced the joy and fear of having a baby born too early. Prematurity is the leading cause of death amongst newborns. Many children who have been born prematurely do very well, leading productive and healthy lives. But many also have long term medical and developmental concerns."
Katharina Staub adds: "My strong desire and dream is to help families of premature children by providing them with educational tools, peer support and knowledge so that they are equipped with what they need to ensure that their children lead productive and healthy lives. It is a very tall order but day by day, through working with the community, we can make this vision a reality."
The Foundation was created, in part, with the help of an education grant from Abbott, a global health care company.
About the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation
Founded in 2012 by Katharina Staub, a mother of premature twins, the goal of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation (Fondation pour Bébés Prématurés Canadiens) is to provide a voice and a face to the major health issues associated with prematurity. Learn more visit www.cpbf-fbpc.org