Preemie Prevention

Alberta has one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the country. That means babies in our province are at higher risk of complications that contribute to impaired brain development, physical disability and neonatal death.

Being born preterm – prior to 37 weeks gestation – is the primary factor contributing to babies requiring hospitalization in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The effects of premature birth can last a lifetime and change the entire course of a child’s future.

Preterm birth also takes a tremendous toll on parents, impacting their physical and emotional health. In fact, women who deliver preterm have an elevated risk of developing premature cardiovascular disease, postpartum mental health disorders and traumatic stress disorders. Thankfully, community support has enabled the University of Calgary to build a critical mass of internationally recognized scientists dedicated to better understanding and solving this serious global health issue.

With your help, more than 40 Calgary researchers are uniting around an unprecedented initiative designed to increase global knowledge and provide immediate real-world health benefits to expectant mothers and newborn babies in our community. Southern Alberta families will become the first to benefit from crucial science to improve prediction, prevention and interventions for preterm birth.

Recognizing the urgent need to address this serious health risk for families – both within our community and globally – the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Calgary Health Foundation have joined forces in rallying the community to help fund this initiative as quickly as possible.