Monday, November 27, 2017

World Prematurity Awareness 2017 #LittlestFighters

Being a new parent comes with so many emotions. Happiness, joy, and even fear. Being the parent of a preemie brings a whole new level to those feelings. You have anger and sadness mixed in with the other emotions that most parents wouldn't feel.

Having had a preemie myself, I know all too well the stress and anxiety that comes with the territory.

Mr. J was in the NICU at CHEO for the first 10 days of his life. Being separated from your child (he was transferred from our local hospital where I gave birth, to CHEO at 20 hours old) is devastating. I had complications from delivery, so couldn’t even leave and be with him. When pregnant, you imagine the joy of leaving the hospital and arriving home with your newborn. Not having them taken away from you. Even though you KNOW it is for the best and what they need, it has an incredibly negative impact on your life, and your introduction to parenthood. Seeing all the wires and tubes coming from your newborn is shocking. I had seen my niece and nephew (also preemies) when they were in the NICU, but it didn’t prepare me for the sight of my own child like that. Leaving the hospital to go home each night was heartbreaking. It’s been over 10 years since our NICU days, but I still remember what it was like. I am thankful that we had access to such a wonderful facility.

Mr. J was big for a preemie (6lbs 3oz) but most are not such a good size. In 2002, Pampers introduced a preemie diaper for hospitals to use on their #LittlestFighters, but sometimes, even those are too big. In 2016 Pampers partnered with NICU nurses to design and introduce the Pampers Preemie Swaddlers Size P3 diapers for babies as little as 1 lb.

This year, Pampers has introduced another new diaper for NICUs. The Pampers NICU Flat Diaper offers the same softness, absorbency and skin protection found in other Pampers diapers, but in a form that better matches the needs of some babies in the NICU, including those with:
  • Hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice)
  • Abdominal defects and surgeries
  • Severe skin barrier breakdown
  • Extremely low birth weight

The materials used to create this diaper are safe, gentle and fragrance free. The flat diaper has all around absorbency to provide equal protection in the back and front, allowing diapering in any position. There is also a wetness shield to prevent run-off from the flat diaper.  

It is estimated that more than 15 million babies are born prematurely around the globe. That is a lot of babies. We are so fortunate that we had amazing care for Mr. J when he was born. He is now a relatively healthy 10 year old boy. 

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and this year Pampers is partnering up with Graham’s Foundation to encourage Canadians to share their own #LittlestFighters stories on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag. For each share, Pampers will donate $5 (up to $10,000!) to the foundation.