About 15 million babies are born prematurely each year

World Prematurity Day is aimed at creating awareness around preterm birth, its causes & ways to avoid it.

FILE: Today marks World Prematurity Day. Picture: freeimages.com.

CAPE TOWN - The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year.

Today marks World Prematurity Day.

The day is aimed at creating awareness about preterm birth, its causes and ways to avoid it.

Head of the Neonatal Unit at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Lucy Linley, says the cause of preterm birth is often unexplained.

"The most common reason is what we call idiopathic, which means we don't have a cause for it. Other reasons include infections in the mother, high blood pressure and sometimes bleeding before the baby is born."

LISTEN: KFM listeners share their stories of giving birth to premature babies.