1 November 2018
Thursday 1st November marks the start of ‘Neonatal November’ – a month to acknowledge neonatal journeys and the stress
and anxiety many families go through.
If the averages play true, there will be 16 babies born premature in New Zealand today. A number more full-term babies
will require specialist care as a result of health issues and/or complications.
They will join the hundreds of other babies already in a neonatal unit receiving specialist care. There are over 350
incubators and cots in neonatal units across New Zealand.
In line with one of their key objectives to raise awareness, throughout November The Neonatal Trust will be sharing:
• stories written by neonatal families
• statistics and details of neonatal journeys in New Zealand
• insights into the world class research and clinical care that is undertaken in New Zealand
Neil O’Styke, Executive Director of The Neonatal Trust, said “The neonatal patient group is not insignificant, and we
want to raise awareness of what is involved for families, plus champion the wonderful people who care for the fragile
and precious babies”
He then added “A lot of people think of only prematurity when they hear of neonatal care. We created ‘Neonatal November’
as a vehicle to more easily cover the journeys of babies who are full-term but have serious health issues and
complications that require intensive care in the same neonatal units as those born premature.”
• ‘Neonatal November’ includes the internationally recognised ‘World Prematurity Day’ (Nov 17)
• There are 350+ incubators and cots in neonatal units across New Zealand
• On average 16 babies are born prematurely in New Zealand every day.
Babies are classified as premature if they are born before 37 weeks gestation. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
• 40% of pregnancies involving multiples (twins, triplets, etc) arrive prematurely.
• Approximately 1 in 10 of babies born in New Zealand every year arrive early. That's one every 90 minutes, and
over 5,000 in total. Many arrive very early – some as early as 16 weeks early (24 weeks gestation).
• Some stays in a neonatal unit last just a few days, others take a very long time. For example, from the personal
stories on The Neonatal Trust website www.neonataltrust.org.nz
* Charlotte, born 23 weeks 3 days, weighing 650grams - 132 days before going home for the first time.