Preterm birth

Every year, 15 million babies are born preterm, which is around 29 babies a minute. Ferring is committed to supporting families from conception to birth, including preventing babies from being born too soon.

About pre-term labour

Every year, 15 million babies are born preterm, which is around 29 babies a minute.1 Prematurity or pre-term birth is one of the most common causes of death and disability in infants, yet the underlying causes are unknown in many cases.

Pre-term birth a major cause of new born death

Every year, 3.1 million premature babies die. Over a third of these deaths are due to complications of preterm birth.2 Babies that survive can have serious long-term health consequences such as visual and hearing impairments, neurodevelopmental disabilities and cardiovascular disease.3

The cause is unknown for half of all preterm births

There are a number of risk factors for preterm birth including short intervals between pregnancies, smoking and preeclampsia, however in approximately half of cases the cause is unknown.

Further research is needed

Further research is needed to find the unknown causes of preterm birth and new ways to prevent it. Through our research programmes and funding, including supporting the March of Dimes prematurity research network, we hope to accelerate the research and development of new healthcare solutions that are urgently needed to help babies that are born earlier than expected. Ferring is also committed to supporting families from conception to birth by raising awareness of preterm birth.

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    1. WHO Fact sheet Preterm Birth. Available at: Last accessed: October 2019.
    2. Born Too Soon: The global epidemiology of 15 million preterm births: Reprod Health. 2013; 10(Suppl 1): S2. Published online 2013 Nov 15.  doi:  10.1186/1742-4755-10-S1-S2.
    3. Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. (WHO, March of Dimes) 2012.

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