Let’s Talk About Preterm Birth: Honoring Our Stories, Our Families, and Our Support Systems

World Prematurity Day is observed every November 17th to honor the families who have given birth to preemies, the preemies who are thriving around the world today, as well as the birth justice advocates who care for preemies and work to prevent preterm birth every day. 

Download PTBi World Prematurity Day Zoom Background

Catch Snippets from Our Open Mic

I want to be a NICU nurse. I want to be there to tell moms, ‘It will be okay.’ [Because] I felt alone when I had my son.

Tracy Serrano

Shares how her preterm birth became inspiration.

Sister, Sister

Hear from Tiana McMillan, PTBi CAB member, and her sister as they share what being born prematurely means to them.

As a mother of a preemie, Tiana said, “She was born at 30 weeks, 3 pounds. She was able to breathe on her own but the thing that was most hardest about it was the fact that it was so out of left field.” Fortunately, Tiana's sister — born prematurely herself — was there to support Tiana the whole way and had thoughts to share about her own experiences growing up. 

[My father] was telling me there was no space for him, really, as a man raising a premature infant.

Michele Poole

Shares why fathers and partners are important.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Born a preemie over 50 years ago, Monique L. shares "Being premature back in the day, they didn’t always know that you were going to survive. One of the things my mom had said was that she was really glad she didn’t know what could happen. She didn’t know. I was in an incubator for two weeks and I weighed two pounds, seven ounces.” 

Why We Need World Prematurity Day

Even though more than one-third of infant deaths in California are related to being born too soon, many people (especially in Black and Brown communities) are not aware that having their babies before 37 weeks is not “normal.” In fact, the rate of preterm birth among Black women is 47% higher than the rate among all other women. Our mission at PTBi is to change this fact, so this year we are creating a sacred space for our community to raise awareness for this important issue and give back to it. 

Community Partners

Infant Feeding Joys & Woes – Discussion with a Lactation Specialist

Let’s explore all of your options for infant feeding. The best choice is a fully informed and confident choice. Your decision on how to care for your newborn is your’s to make.

Facilitators: Glamarys Acevedo
Sponsored by: EMBRACE: Perinatal Care for Black Families


Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence and Premature Births 

We will discuss how domestic violence/intimate partner violence doubled the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. The risk is increased further for women who experienced two or more types of domestic violence during their pregnancy. 

Facilitators: Paméla Tate 
Sponsored by: Black Women Revolt Against Domestic Violence

Black Women Revolt Against Domestic Violence logo

Introduction to YOU 

Guided discussion on prominent questions to ask oneself to begin the intentional process of being who they desire to be. 

Facilitators: Kalisha Goodwin 
Sponsored by: Sakhu LLC

Sakhu LLC logo

Mindfulness Moments with Mona 

Mindfulness Moments with Mona is a grounding guided meditation practice featuring harmonious breath, poetic verse, affirmations and restorative visioning. This healing session is specifically crafted to uplift birth justice. 

Facilitators: Ramona Laughing Brook Webb 
Sponsored by: UCSF Black Women's Health & Livelihood Initiative 

UCSF Black Women's Health & Livelihood Initiative  logo

Sisterhood and Movement — Line Dancing Workshop 

Come enjoy soul line dancing with Jessica. You will enjoy a low-impact class with great music, working out your body and brain. Let have some fun.

Facilitators: Jessica Woods-Torlowei 
Sponsored by: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated — Delta Delta Zeta Chapter 

Giveaway Sponsor — Speech Therapy

Lala Speech Therapy, Inc. is a private practice in San Francisco specializing in pediatric feeding, speech and language services in San Francisco, California. We serve children (birth to 5 years) and offer culturally-responsive caregiver coaching support to families and childcare providers throughout the Bay Area. Tele-health and Spanish-speaking services are available.

Giveaway Sponsor — Linda Jones Photography

Linda Jones has been a Birth and Postpartum Doula for over 30 years and an amateur photographer for longer than that. In the past couple of years, she decided to actively combine the two things she loves to do: birth support and photography to provide families with lasting memories of their birth journey.