Displaying items by tag: preemie industry news
Sunday, 29 January 2012 15:58

Steroids Help Micro Preemies

A recent study has found that treating women at risk of preterm birth as early as 22 to 23 weeks gestation improved the survival of extremely preterm infants. Babies born this early are colloquially called micro preemies. Due to extreme prematurity, micro preemies have a reduced chance of survival and are at increased risk for a number of health complications, such as respiratory distress syndrome, patent ductus artiosus, retinopathy of prematurity, necrotizing enterocolitis, and intraventricular hemorrhage.

Women who are at risk of preterm delivery are treated with antenatal corticosteroids (steroids for short) to help the infant’s immature lungs develop. Various studies have provided evidence for the effectiveness of steroids for decreasing mortality and morbidity in preterm infants. Typically, women at high risk of preterm birth between 24 to 34 weeks gestation are treated with steroids, however the use of steroids in women between 22 to 26 weeks gestation has been low and there is wide international and regional variation in their use. A research team in Japan sough to evaluate the effectiveness of antenatal corticosteroids to improve neonatal outcomes for infants born at less than 24 weeks of gestation. This was an important study as steroid use at this early stage may have large ramifications for survival and morbidity in the most vulnerable and tiniest of preterm babies.

The study involved the analysis of 11,607 infants born at 22 to 33 weeks gestation between 2003 and 2007. They evaluated the gestational age effects of treating women threatened with preterm birth with steroids on several factors related to neonatal morbidity and mortality. The most important finding of this study was that treatment with antenatal corticosteroids improved the survival of extremely preterm infants, including the tiniest micro preemies; babies born 22 to 23 weeks gestation.

Other results from the study demonstrated that steroid treatment was effective in decreasing respiratory distress syndrome, brain injury (intraventricular hemorrhage), surfactant use, and duration of oxygen use in preterm infants born between 24 and 29 weeks of gestation but not for the smaller micro preemies.

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 08:51

Prevention of Preemie Parent Distress

The birth of a preterm infant can cause significant psychological distress for parents and families. In particular it has been consistently reported that the birth and hospitalisation of an unwell baby is associated with high levels of distress and depressive symptoms in the mother of the infant. Most research in this area has focused on the mother of preterm infants but some research groups are now trying to evaluate the emotional affect preterm birth also has on fathers.

Research suggests that 10% of mothers of infants with very low birth weight (VLBW; infants born less than 1,500 g) report severe symptoms of psychological distress in the neonatal period which is five-fold the rate of term mothers, and almost one-third of mothers of VLBW infants have clinically meaningful levels of depression and anxiety.

A research team in the United States have recently evaluated a treatment intervention developed for reducing symptoms of posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety in parents of preterm babies.

There were 105 mothers of preterm infants who particpated in the study. The gestational age of preemies ranged from 25 to 34 weeks' gestational age and all were born more than 600grams. The 105 participants were randomly selected to be part of 2 groups; 1)intervention group - these mothers received 6 sessions of intervention which combined trauma-focused treatments, including psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, progessive muscles relaxation, and development of their trauma narrative. It also included material which targeted infant redefinition - changing the mother's negative perceptions of her baby and the parenting experience; 2)control group - these mothers were described as an active comparison group who received an education session.

The research findings were positive for the intervention group - mothers greater reduction in trauma symptoms and depression, both groups reported less anxiety, and mothers who experienced higher NICU stress before the intervention benefited more from the intervention than mothers who reported low NICU stress.

The researchers concluded that, "This short, highly manualized intervention for mothers of preterm infants reduced symptoms of trauma and depression. The intervention is feasible, can be delivered with fidelity, and has high ratings of maternal satisfaction. Given that improvements in mothers’ distress may lead to improved infant outcomes, this intervention has the potential for a high public health impact.

Research such as this could be a great step in lessening the burden and stress for families of preterm infants who often have to deal with many and varied challenges.

Published in Industry News
Sunday, 21 April 2013 12:50

Live Music Benefits Preemies

A large study in the US as found that live music can be beneficial to preterm babies.

The study was lead by Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and involved 11 hospitals. Music therapists helped parents of preemies change their favorite tunes into lullabies.

The researchers have reported that live music, played or sung, helped to slow preterm infants' heartbeats, calm their breathing, improve sucking behavior, which are important for feeding, aid sleep, and promote states of quiet alertness. These factors are important as reducing stress and stabilizing vital signs allows preterm infants to dedicate more energy to growing and developing.

One reason which might explain how live music helps preemies is that music is organised, purposeful sound amid the unpredictable, overstimulating noise of neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Sounds can be damaging but meaningful noise is important for a baby's brain development.

Future research may look at how benefits in heart rate and respiratory rate, as a result of live music, affect clinical improvements such as removing oxygen or feeding tubes sooner.

Another benefit observed from this study was that parent preferred lullabies, sung live, can enhance bonding and thus decrease the stress parents experience when caring for a preemie baby.

Published in Industry News
Friday, 21 October 2011 07:57

Antenatal & Postnatal Depression

Preemie Help would like to introduce the newest expert to contribute an article in their area of expertise. Natalie Worth is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the treatment of women with post natal adjustment and depression issues.

Post Natal depression is sometimes referred to as Postpartum depression, whereas Post Natal and Ante Natal Depression are also both called Perinatal depression or PND for short.

Both antenatal and postnatal depression have long been significant issues, for women in particular, which has largely been avoided and not spoken of. The good news is, the conversations around this topic are increasing and women are more likely to discuss, report, or seek help for perinatal depression compared with 10 years ago. The other very important issue is that perinatal depression often responds very well to early detection followed by well chosen treatment, under good medical and psychological direction.

Natalie Worth is an expert in this area and helps many families with perinatal depression, inlcuding parents of preemies. Her tails are as follows;

  • Natalie Worth
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Adelaide Hills South Australia
  • Mobile number 0413 984 724
  • Fax Number 8388 0745
  • Individual and Group Therapy

Natalie sees women with post natal adjustment and depression issues and offer groups and one to one services. Currently the groups have openings and she can offer a one off interview prior to joining a group and then in 1 month or so, she will have more one to one counselling spots available too. Natalie is based in Littlehampton South Australia - her contact details for clients and workers is 0413 984 724. She is able to offer Medicare rebates for clients who are GP referred with a mental health care plan , and her current gap is $30.20, with some discounts and the group out of pocket fee is lower than this too.

Published in Industry News
Monday, 10 December 2012 17:45

L’il Aussie Prems Foundation

L’il Aussie Prems Foundation is Australia’s largest online support community and forum for families of prematurely born children and sick newborns. They are a voluntary not-for-profit organisation set up to provide online support, raise awareness, bring parents together who have traveled a similar path whilst encouraging families to share their personal and unique journey through our website. No matter where families are located geographically, our website and support services are assessable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Foundation’s website was initially established in 2007 by a premmie mum who gave birth to her first son at 27 weeks gestation. The forum and website continue to offer a lifeline to families. In October 2012, with the goal of expanding the online support provided to families, L’il Aussie Prems Foundation became a registered charity, incorporated in the state of Victoria.

The Foundations committee members are all parents who have each experienced a very personal and unique journey after the premature birth of their children. As members of the forum community for many years, they each understand the vulnerability parents feel in a similar situation, the importance of an online community and the integral role the Foundation plays with offering a safe and supportive environment to each family.

Published in Industry News
Monday, 09 May 2011 18:59

Oxygen Level & Preemies

Premature babies have underdeveloped lungs when they are born and so often require supplemental oxygen to survive. However, the level of oxygen needed to help preemies without causing other health problems has been a cause of much debate. A scientific publication in the New England Journal of Medicine has concluded that higher oxygen concentrations improve survival, but also note that this is not necessarily without risks.

 

Published in Industry News
Friday, 10 May 2013 14:01

Preemies School-age

Extremely preterm babies or extremely small prems are still behind their term born counterparts in relation to intellectual, educational, and behavioral outcomes by the time they reach school-age.

A study conducted in Victoria led by the Royal Women's Hospital followed up 189 extremely preterm or extremely low birth weight babies (less than 28 weeks gestation or weighing less than 1,000g) and 173 term born children at school-age. The areas assessed were intellectual ability, spelling, reading, mathematics, and a range of behavioral outcomes.

They found that 71% of the preterm born children had a cognitive, educational, or behavioral impairment at 8 years of age. In addition, up to 47% showed multiple areas of concern. These rates are much higher than that of the term born group which was 42% and 16% respectively. The major areas of concern were reading and spelling impairment which were double the rates in preemies compared with children born full term. The researchers also reported that 15% of the prems had a significant neurosensory impairment such as cerebral palsy.

Parents also completed questionnaires about their children which revealed that the preterm group had more behavioral problems including higher rates of hyperactivity, inattention, emotional problems, and peer relationship problems.

The positive message from this research is that the majority of babies born so early and small are now surviving without major disabilities.

This research highlights the need for early identification of children likely to have difficulties and early intervention strategies need to be employed to help these children before school-age.

Published in Industry News
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:00

Families of Premmies; Going Green

After the resounding success of the first “Wear Green for Premmies” Day in 2011, Ms Julia Toivonen, founder of the L’il Aussie Prems website which hosted the inaugural event, is eagerly looking forward to this year’s fundraiser. The 2012 “Wear Green for Premmies” Day will be held on 4th April 2012.


Last year’s event attracted around 19,600 attendees and raised awareness of babies born prematurely. It raised much needed funds for five different charities all which support children.


In mid-January this year a Facebook event page was launched in an effort to reach as many families as possible in the lead up to April with over 6,000 already ‘attending’ the event. Word has spread through social networks of the fantastic work being done to raise funds through the “Wear Green for Premmies” Day. Ms Toivonen is expecting that this year’s event will attract an unprecedented number of attendees.


Funds will be raised through the sale of green wristbands sporting various premmie support messages chosen by the websites members. Funds will then be distributed amongst charities that support children throughout Australia. Attendees are also encouraged to fundraise on the day in support of the National Premmie Foundation.

Attendees do not attend a physical event but simply sign up to the event on the Wear Green for Premmies Day Facebook Page and encourage family and friends to wear something green on the 4th of April 2012.


Published in Industry News
Saturday, 21 May 2011 13:09

Stem Cells for Preemies

The children's charity Action Medical Research is funding a project aimed at developing a cure for a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). ROP can lead to blindness in premature babies, putting the youngest, sickest and smallest babies most at risk, including over 3,000 babies who are born more than 12 weeks early each year in the UK.

 

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 19:39

Preemie Help Competition!

Calling all Preemie Parents!

Help Preemie Help, Help Preemies - by entering our preemie photo competition with the chance to win great prizes including, the preemiehelp ebook, “The Complete Guide to: Preemie Development.” and a Earlybirds Gift voucher (2 x $50) from Earlybirds

Enter as many categories you like for a chance to win. The categories are;

  • 1. life in the NICU
  • 2. my brave preemie
  • 3. look at me now!

To enter, visit Earlybirds facebook page at www.facebook.com/earlybirds and make a comment, and then email your photo to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the title “photo competition - and the category the entry is for”

Best entries will appear on preemiehelp.com and competition winners will be announced on the 30th June. The competition winners as well as our highly recommended entries will also go toward developing a promotional video, please let us know if you would prefer not to be involved, you will still be eligible for the prizes.


Published in Industry News
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AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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New Release - Preemie Development

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‘The complete preemie guide to: ‘Preemie development’ is the must have guide to the NICU for new preemie parents.

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