World Prematurity Day

World Prematurity Day on 17 November is one of the most important days in the year to raise awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally. The day was initiated by EFCNI and partnering European parent organisations in 2008. The international co-founders LittleBigSouls (Africa), March of Dimes (USA) and National Premmie Foundation (Australia) joined the celebrations and made World Prematurity Day an intercontinental movement. Meanwhile, countless individuals and organisations from more than 100 countries join forces with activities, special events and commit to action to help address preterm birth and improve the situation of preterm babies and their families.

Everyone is warmly invited to join this day with activities or events: parent organisations, hospitals, non-profit organisations, healthcare professionals, societies, companies, politicians, media, and individuals. No matter how much time, money or manpower you are able to spare – even with simple things you can make a difference!

Besides the colour purple which stands for sensitivity and exceptionality, the socksline has become a symbol for World Prematurity Day. The small pair of purple socks – framed by nine full-size baby socks – symbolises: 1 in 10 babies is born preterm. Worldwide.

(c) EFCNI: The Olympic tower in Munich is illuminated purple on WPD 2018

2018 – the ten year anniversary of World Prematurity Day 

2018 was a special year as we were celebrating the 10th anniversary since the foundation of World Prematurity Day in 2008. Under the slogan ‘Working together: Partnering with families in the care of small and sick newborns’, people joined the worldwide WPD celebrations. In our resources section, we provided special graphics for the 10th anniversary.  As EFCNI is based in Munich, Germany, it was, of course, a special highlight for us that one of the literally outstanding landmarks of Munich, the Olympic tower, was illuminated in purple, shining a light for preterm babies and their families.

The global theme for World Prematurity Day 2021 is:
Zero Separation
Act now! Keep parents and babies born too soon together.

We are happy to provide you with our new campaigning material for World Prematurity Day 2021.

You can find further material like logo badges, social media graphics and banners – also available in several languages – and a social media toolkit for your World Prematurity Day Campaign in our resources toolbox below.

World Prematurity Day photo challenge: honour your #NICUheroes and share your story on 17 November!

To send out a message of gratitude to the global network of parent organisations and healthcare professionals in the field of neonatal care, and to support especially new/young parents and mothers of preterm born babies, we will initiate a photo challenge on World Prematurity Day, 17 November, on our Facebook and Instagram accounts to honour our NICU heroes and to celebrate the progress, both small and big, all preterm born children have made. Also, the challenge is designed to draw attention to the impressive work of parent- and patient organisations and the NICU teams and can hopefully connect people affected by preterm birth.

Joining is easy:

  • Choose an image of your child, the NICU team or your nurse that took care of your baby – please respect your child’s and anybody else’s personal image rights and ask for their consent, or, if they are too young, be considerate when choosing a picture. Everyone should feel comfortable with the selected image.
  • Upload your image to your Facebook and/or Instagram account and share a personal message or some words about your/your child’s story in the caption.
  • Be sure to use  #WorldPrematurityDay2021 and #NICUheroes
  • Don’t forget to tag @efcni so we can like and share your post!
  • Adults born preterm are also invited to join and share their stories!

Resources for 2021

Events & Activities 2016-2021

Thank you to all supporters of World Prematurity Day 2021

We warmly thank the following parent and patient organisations, as well as national and international NGOs, healthcare- and research societies for supporting World Prematurity Day 2021!


Patient – and parent organisations (in alphabetic order)

Collaborating international NGOs, medical and research societies

Collaborating national medical and research societies 

Research project partners 

Special thanks 

Moreover, we would like to thank our Platinum, Premium, Premium Project, Silver and Bronze Partners AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, Baxter, Nestlé Nutrition Institute, Prolacta Bioscience, Sanofi Pasteur, DSM, Philips, and Takeda for supporting the creation of the EFCNI World Prematurity Day material.