A new task group: « Prematurity and vulnerable newborns” has very recently been created at the French National Assembly. It is headed by Deputy Isabelle Le Callennec. This group will interview actors who take care of vulnerable newborns and their families and work on drafting a bill of law.
The « SOS Prema » association has organized an information campaign and lobbying. In order to inform the deputies about the hard reality of prematurity, the SOS Préma association has already sent an illustrated post card with the photo of Louise, a baby born after only 5 ½ months of pregnancy. On the back of the card, the deputies could discover the story of this baby born preterm. And thanks to an “interactive citizen’s letter” the association suggests that citizens should invite the deputy of their district to participate in this study group.
The reasons for premature birth are numerous, and in France, approximately 60,000 babies are born preterm every year. According to the SOS Prema association, in 2010, there were 7.4% premature births, compared to 5.9% in 1995, representing a 22% increase in 15 years.
This significant increase has several explanations, notably the development of Assisted Reproductive Technology which contributes to multiple-birth pregnancies and thus premature births. Another reason is women’s lifestyle: exhaustion related to work, stress, smoking, poor nutrition, etc. Also contributing is scientific progress and enhanced surveillance of pregnancies: “We now analyze whether the infant is suffering for x or y reasons, or if the woman is suffering at that moment, thus we take the child out earlier because we think that he will grow up better than in the womb. The caretaking teams must be up to date with scientific progress” underlined SOS Prima’s director, when interviewed by France Info.