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World Prematurity Day

8 mins


  • When is World Prematurity Day? On the 17th of November, the whole world celebrates World Prematurity Day. It is one of the most important days in the year to help raise awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally. It was first celebrated in 2008, being initiated by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) and partnering European parent organisations1.

  • Why the 17th of November? It was on this day when one of the founding members of EFCNI became a proud father of a daughter, after having lost his triplets due to preterm birth. A new awareness day was born1.

  • The typical symbols of World Prematurity Day are the socks line and purple lightings. The purple colour in the visual identity stands for sensitivity and exceptionality1.

World Prematurity Day socks symbol

Preterm birth is truly a global problem. Every year, 5-18% of babies are born prematurely, resulting in an estimated 15 million preterm births per year2. Babies born prematurely face higher health risks, with physical and neurodevelopmental disabilities both short- and long-term. All of them require extensive, special care simply to remain alive, putting a heavy burden on their family, health services and economy3.

Nestlé is committed to helping preterm babies, their families, and their health care professionals, with our SMA Gold Prem® range, through our continued investment in research and the development of state-of-the-art, clinically proven nutritional solutions tailored to their specific needs both in hospital and after discharge.

Join us in celebrating World Prematurity Day on 17th November 2022!

We thank you for your continuous quality care towards all premature babies and look forward to working together for a brighter future for them.

Other resources to support healthcare professionals in the care of preterm births

Our preterm hub has been created to provide you with information relating to the nutritional management of preterm infants, including webinars, infographics and articles, below you will find examples of each or visit our preterm hub here .

1. Webinar - Watch on demand

Celebrate World Prematurity Day 2021

Optimising intervention for the preterm babies.
Available to view on demand

3. An article - 8 mins read

  1. EFCNI Fact Sheet 2022_09_14_WPD_Factsheet.pdf (

  2. WHO Factsheet Preterm Birth, 19 February 2018 (Accessed July 2022:

  3. March of Dimes, et al. Born too soon: the global action report on preterm birth. Eds CP Howson, MC KinneyJE Lawn. WHO, Geneva, 2012


We believe that breastfeeding is the ideal nutritional start for babies, and we fully support the World Health Organization’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods along with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age. We also recognise that breastfeeding is not always an option for parents. We recommend that healthcare professionals inform parents about the advantages of breastfeeding. If parents choose not to breastfeed, healthcare professionals should inform parents that such a decision can be difficult to reverse and that the introduction of partial bottle-feeding will reduce the supply of breast milk. Parents should consider the social and financial implications of the use of infant formula. As babies grow at different rates, healthcare professionals should advise on the appropriate time for a baby to begin eating complementary foods. Infant formula and complementary foods should always be prepared, used and stored as instructed on the label in order to avoid risks to a baby’s health. The following products must be used under medical supervision. ●SMA GOLD PREM® BREAST MILK FORTIFIER is a nutritional supplement designed to be added to expressed breast milk for the dietary management of feeding preterm low birthweight babies. It is NOT a breast milk substitute. ●SMA Gold Prem® 1 is a special formula intended for the dietary management of preterm low birthweight babies who are not solely fed breast milk. It is suitable for use as the sole source of nutrition for preterm babies from birth. SMA Gold Prem® 1 is not intended for use with older preterm babies, for whom a special catch-up formula such as SMA Gold Prem® 2 is more appropriate. ●SMA Gold Prem® 2 is a special catch-up formula intended for the dietary management of preterm low birthweight babies who are not solely fed breast milk. It is a nutritionally complete formula for use on discharge from hospital or when a low birthweight formula is no longer appropriate. It is suitable for use as the sole source of nutrition up to 6 months corrected age. SMA Gold Prem® 2 is not intended for use with newborn preterm babies, for whom fortified breast milk or a low birthweight formula such as SMA Gold Prem® 1 is more appropriate. ●SMA Gold Prem® H-Drops is an incomplete food for special medical purposes especially designed for the dietary management of preterm low birthweight infants. It is not a breast milk substitute.