Internationally-acclaimed baby photographer Anne Geddes today unveiled an image of a baby born too soon that will be shared worldwide to raise awareness of the global problem of preterm birth.
Mrs. Geddes donated the image of Alfred, who was born 8 weeks too soon, weighing just two pounds, six ounces, to the March of Dimes, which made the photo the center of its 2014 World Prematurity Day campaign.
“I’m proud to be working with March of Dimes, because all babies deserve a chance at a healthy start in life,” said Mrs. Geddes, who unveiled the image during a March of Dimes conference. “Tiny baby Alfred sends a fragile and yet powerful message. The initial heart-wrenching sight of such a tiny human being, quickly gives way to admiration for their sense of strength and their will to survive against all odds.
Worldwide, more than 15 million babies are born too soon and more than one million babies die before their first birthday. Preterm birth, (before 37 weeks of pregnancy), is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of serious and sometimes lifelong health problems, such as breathing problems, jaundice, developmental delays, vision loss and cerebral palsy.
The image of Alfred, cradled in the hand of a Leonardo DaVinci-inspired sculpture, is being used to draw worldwide attention to the need to prevent preterm birth.
Mrs. Geddes also taped a TV spot that will air on CNN in more than 200 countries. It can be viewed here.
“We are grateful to Anne Geddes, one of the world’s most widely respected photographers, for her tireless efforts on behalf of babies worldwide,” says March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer Howse. “Her work will help focus attention on the critical work needed to give all babies a healthy start in life.”
World Prematurity Day takes place each year on November 17. The March of Dimes and its global partners mark the day with activities to focus attention preterm birth. The March of Dimes works with the World Prematurity Network, (WPN), a global coalition of consumer and parent groups working together to raise awareness and prevent premature birth in their countries. Through World Prematurity Day and other joint efforts, members call for action to prevent preterm birth and improve care for babies born too soon. Learn more and find out how you can help at facebook.com/WorldPrematurityDay