Prematurity Day at UCC MUW

One in 10 babies is born prematurely, that is, before the 37th week of pregnancy. In Poland, that's about 26,000 premature babies a year. They are completely defenseless as they lie in incubators connected to monitoring equipment. And so tiny. Some fit in the palm of your hand and weigh as much as a teddy bear. Fortunately, thanks to huge advances in neonatology, it is possible to save them. Yesterday, all premature babies - tiny, small and quite grown-up - celebrated their holiday.

The color of premature babies is purple. It symbolizes their uniqueness, delicacy and sensitivity. That's why yesterday there were plenty of purple accents at the Department of Neonatology and Rare Diseases UCC MUW. There were balloons, ribbons, flowers, and the entire staff wore purple T-shirts. There were also special guests. Toddlers who recently left the ward came to the department along with their parents. Doctors and nurses knew them all by name and were touched to see how wonderfully they were developing. The toddlers accompanied their parents to an educational workshop organized by Professor Bożena Kociszewska-Najman, head of the Department. Parents of premature babies met with physiotherapists. During the workshop, it was possible to learn which symptoms in a premature baby can be alarming and require consultation, and which are completely natural. Physiotherapists also sensitized people not to trust advice from the Internet. Every premature baby is different and has its own developmental path. Two babies born prematurely in exactly the same week can develop completely differently.

There was also talk about how to stimulate the proper development of the baby. And here it turns out that in the vast majority of cases premature babies do not need many therapies with fancy methods. The best training for them is simply playing with mom and dad. The workshop also included a first aid class - first theory and instruction, and then exercises on phantoms. A meeting with a neurologist was also very interesting. Premature babies are probe-fed at first, as they do not yet have a sucking reflex. The specialist hinted at how to later transition to breastfeeding and what can help with this.

On Prematurity Day, the department was also visited by Prof. Zbigniew Gaciong, Rector, Prof. Mariusz Gujski, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Prof. Piotr Węgrzyn, Head of the Department of Obstetrics, Perinatology and Gynecology.
- I am grateful to Prof. Kociszewska Najman for making me realize that I can also celebrate Prematurity Day. I was probably born at 36 weeks gestation with a weight of about 2.5 kilograms. For today's medicine this is not a major challenge, and at that time it wasn't special either, but nevertheless I count myself among the premature babies - said Prof. Gujski. The dean also noted that modern medicine has made great strides in the treatment of premature babies, and the Department of Neonatology and Rare Diseases, operating within the Faculty of Health Sciences, is a unique place where exceptional people work. - It is probably the best place in Poland when it comes to treating premature babies - he said proudly.