Wednesday, 04 July 2012 20:42

Photo Competition Winners Announced

Congratulations to the preemiehelp photo competition winners!

Thanks too all the people that entered our Preemiehelp Photo competition.

The winners share in great prizes including, the preemiehelp ebook, “The Complete Guide to: Preemie Development.” and a Earlybirds Gift voucher (2 x $50) from Earlybirds

And the Winners are...

After much deliberation we can annouce the winners of the Preemiehelp 'preemie photo competition' .

Prizes are awarded for 3 categories

  • Life in the NICU
  • My Brave Preemie
  • Look at Me Now 

After an overwhelming responce to the competition we are happy to announce that..

In First Place

Collecting a prize of $50 Earlybirds Voucher (earlybirds.com.au) and a full set of the Preemiehelp "The preemie guide to: Surviving the NICU" & " The preemie guide to: Preemie development" is:

Angela Perry - Life in the NICU

With her winning photo - 

Photo: 1st - Angela Perry (Life in the NICU)

 

 

In Second Place

Collecting a prize of $50 Earlybirds Voucher (earlybirds.com.au) and the Preemiehelp ebook " The preemie guide to: Preemie development" is:

Andrea Creighton - My Brave Preemie

With her winning photo -

Photo: 2nd - Andrea Creighton (My brave preemie)

 

 

In Third Place

Collecting a full set of the Preemiehelp ebooks  "The preemie guide to: Surviving the NICU" & " The preemie guide to: Preemie development" is:

Ken & Lisa Young - Look at me now

With their winning photo -

Photo: 3rd - Ken & Lisa Young (Look at me now)

 

 

Published in Industry News
Saturday, 21 January 2012 12:17

Training Preemie Parents

Recent research conducted in Norway has found that helping preemie parents better understand and interact with their babies may improve behavioral outcomes at school-age. This is an important finding as children born preterm are at greater risk for behavioral difficulties such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Preemies, particularly those who have been in intensive care units have been described as being more “difficult” and score less favorably in mood, adaptability, persistence, rhythmicity and distractibility than full term infants in standardized measures of temperament. Parents of preemies report that their babies are harder to understand, which can make it more challenging to successfully interact with them.

Researchers at the University Hospital of North Norway recruited 146 preemies born less than 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces) who then either participated in a training program or undertook standard care only. Seventy-five full term infants were also recruited to be used as a baseline comparison. The intervention consisted of 8 sessions shortly before discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and 4 home visits by specially trained nurses focusing on the infant's unique characteristics, temperament, and developmental potential and the interaction between the infant and the parents. A follow-up of these babies at age 5 years found that preemies whose parents received the training had fewer behavior problems, such as inattention, aggression, or withdrawn behaviour. A key point of this study is that teaching parents skills from the beginning of their baby’s life is important and particularly so for parents of preemies.

Published in Industry News
Friday, 30 March 2012 14:33

Grief – Quick Recovery Key

Becoming a parent of a preemie can result in, for good reason, feelings of grief and high levels of distress, which is similar to that of parents who have a child with a chronic illness (e.g. epilepsy or cerebral palsy). According to new research, the faster a mother of a preemie can overcome the feelings of grief they are experiencing the better the chances of developing secure attachment between baby and mother.

Experiencing a preterm birth has been described as an “emotional crisis” that is characterized by feelings of loss and grief, which can continue for months even after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Mother’s of preemies must adapt her expectations and hopes for her baby in difficult and uncertain situations, and must mourn the loss of her hoped-for baby, while also trying to embrace the baby she has.

A history of unresolved grief experienced by mothers about their baby’s diagnosis has been associated with insecure infant-mother attachment. Most of this research has been carried out on chronic medical conditions or disabilities, such as Down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy. Persistent feelings of grief can affect a parent’s capacity to respond sensitively and contingently to baby’s cues. According to attachment theory a parent’s interactive behaviour influences later emotional development in the child. For example, contingently responsive and sensitive parenting contributes to secure attachment and therefore better social and emotional development. On the other hand, interactions lacking sensitivity and responsiveness are associated with insecure attachment.

A recent study undertaken by Prachi Shah M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, aimed to investigate the association between mothers’ unresolved grief regarding their preterm birth and infant-mother attachment security. The study involved 74 preemies (i.e. born less than 36 weeks gestation) and their mothers and the analysis included assessment of neonatal and socioeconomic risk at NICU discharge, maternal depression, Reaction to Preterm Birth Interview findings, and quality of parenting at 9 months postterm, and infant-mother attachment at postterm age of 16 months.

Study conclusion –The study found that unresolved grief related to a preterm birth is associated with the development of insecure infant-mother attachment. Importantly, mothers with resolved grief after preterm birth are 3 times more likely to have secure infant-attachment compared with preterm mothers with unresolved grief. Mothers who demonstrated more positive interactions with their infants were also more likely to have securely attached infants. There researchers suggested that successfully getting over grief may require the mother to redirect her expectations and hopes for her child during uncertain circumstances, and mourn the “hoped-for child” as she still embraces the child she has.

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 12:26

NICU Stress

As parents of premature babies well know, their tiny immature baby is likely to spend at least some time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU is where premature babies will receive specialized medical care allowing time for immature organs to develop sufficiently.

Although there are a number of factors that are associated with poorer developmental outcomes in very premature babies little is understood about the exposure to stress in the neonatal intensive care unit. A new study has focussed on this topic by examining neonatal infant stress and its effect on brain development.

This study involved 44 premature babies born less than 30 weeks gestation and trained nurses recorded procedures and cares. Stress was measured using a tool called the Neonatal Infant Stressor Scale (NISS), which consists of 36 interventions that contribute to infant stress. These premature babies then undertook a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to evaluate the relationship between brain structure and function and infant exposure to stress.

The findings of this study suggest that for premature babies exposure to stressors in the neonatal intensive care unit is associated with reduced brain size. It is not clear what the long-term consequences are and the authors suggest that further research of stress exposure on the premature baby brain is needed to improve outcomes for premature babies.

Published in Industry News
Friday, 03 June 2011 13:40

Flu Shot and Preterm Birth

Having a flu shot may reduce the risk of having a preterm birth. A new study in the US reported that women who received the vaccine and gave birth during the flu season were 40% less likely to have a baby born prematurely.

 

Published in Industry News
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:22

Fundraiser: Walk for Prems

Preterm birth is a major public health concern that is often overshadowed in the media and from funding bodies for more "glamorous" and "dramatic" causes. Whilst we don't protest the money donated to such causes we are also accutely aware, that given the proportion of preterm births globally, that money commited to preventing, supporting, and optimizing preemie outcomes is well below what one might expect given the enormity of associated costs. There are many wonderful groups that work tirelessly to bridge this gap. Preemie help is very happy to help spread the word for one such group/event in Australia. See below a message from Life's Little Treasures and for details of their Walk for Prems event.

Each year thousands of babies are born premature or sick, and a whole family begins the journey through neonatal intensive care units and special care nurseries.

On the 6th of November 2011, Life's Little Treasures Foundation are holding their, major fundraising and community event Walk for Prems at locations throughout the country so that families, friends and supporters can come together to celebrate the lives of these special babies and raise awareness and funds.

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, 07 October 2011 11:02

New Article: ROP surgery

Preemie Help have just released a new article called, Retinopathy of Prematurity; Surgeries and Procedures. It provides some basic information about the surgeries and procedures used to treat preterm infants with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This is an important topic as the smallest and sickiest preterm infants are at the greatest risk for ROP, understanding a little about what's involved can help with feelings of being overwhelmed and confused.

There a several studies being undertaken at the moment to try and improve outcomes following ROP and ways to prevent it in the first instance. Preemie Help will keep up-to-date with this information and post any new findings.

Retinopathy of Prematurity; Surgeries and Procedures can be found under the section "About Preemies" > "In the Hospital" > under the heading "Preemie Surgeries and Procedures."

Published in Industry News
Sunday, 05 February 2012 14:45

NICU Dr, Successful Communicators?

A group of researchers based in Canada sought to find out if the information content, process, and social interaction of the antenatal consultation satisfies the informational needs of women admitted to hospital in preterm and threatened preterm labor. Many hospitals have recently moved toward the family/patient centered care, which includes providing as much information to the patient/family as possible so that they might be more involved in decision-making. One of the major hurdles to this process is when patients are suffering high degrees of anxiety as it negatively affects their perception of the successfulness of communication between physician and patient. Since, preterm labor or threatened preterm labor is stressful for patients it is important to ascertain whether current communication strategies are successful when interacting with these patients.

The typical process – obstetricians request an antenatal consultation for patients admitted in preterm or threatened preterm labor. Consultation is usually provided by the attending neonatologist or could also be neonatal fellow, neonatal nurse practitioner, or paediatrician; the mother is visited by the attending neonatologist for follow-up.

Women included in this study were those with preterm or threatened preterm labor of between 25 and 32 weeks’ gestation. Participants completed a antenatal consultation questionnaire (ACQ); it included 30 questions about the content (type and amount of information given), process (how information was given) and social interaction of physicians. They also wanted to know whether the consultation process was helpful in relieving some of their worry and anxiety.

Results from the study found that study, respondents almost always recalled receiving information on the topics of survival, most likely regarding medical problems and treatments that the baby might need. Mothers reported that information on risk of disability was provided less consistently. Participants who recalled receiving information about disability were also less satisfied with the amount of information provided on this topic compared with other topics. Only 12% of participants disagreed that the consultation helped relieve their worry, suggesting that receiving information may contribute to increasing knowledge and understanding of the condition and risks, but it may also increase anxiety in some people.

Other researchers have suggested that patients want information, even in situations of uncertainty, like preterm labor, and that they feel more satisfied with the consultation if doctors share information about uncertainty. It is important for neonatologists to have frank and open discussions about uncertainty in prognosis, including the risk of disability.

Study conclusion –the mothers who responded to the antenatal consultation questionnaire were generally satisfied with the information provided during the antenatal consultation but remained highly anxious.

Published in Industry News
Monday, 07 July 2014 11:49

Preterm Birth Breakthrough: Infections

Estimates of preterm birth in Australia suggest one in 12 or approximately 8% of Australian babies is born preterm. The incidence worldwide is even higher, approximately 10%, meaning around 15 million babies are born preterm annually. The estimated cost is very high and Australia spends approximately $500 million per year on their care, whilst the United States spends more than $17 billion.

One of the causes of preterm birth is intrauterine infection or inflammation caused by infection. Experts in the field hypothesise that vaginal microorganisms break the cervical barrier, colonise the fetal membranes, and infect the amniotic cavity. The expectant mother's auto-immune response consistenting of a vigorous inflammatory reaction results in preterm birth.

An incredible breakthrough achieved at the University of Western Australia, King Edward Memorial Hospital, has described the ability of an antibiotic - solithromycin - to potentially cross the placenta and kill infections responsible for many preterm births. Professor Jeffrey Keelan estimated that up to 30% of preterm births could be prevented using this new antibiotic, solithromycin. Most of the benefits would be attributed to saving the very early prems.

The research behind this exciting breakthrough involved measurements in sheep and the crossover from sheep to human placentas is about 50% compared with only 2-4% for older antibiotics and it's 10 to 100 times stronger. Researchers report that the next step is to, confirm that in pregnant women, that the antibiotic crosses the placenta and destroys harmful bacteria. If research grants are successful clinical trials will take place between Western Australia and the United States.

This is a significant finding as currently used antibiotics are largely ineffective at destroying harmful bacteria or are unable to cross the placenta at high enough levels, thereby unable to prevent the preterm birth from occuring.

Published in Industry News
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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

All in one easy to read eguide

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

With an easy-to-read layout this comprehensive guide is over 130 pages of important information about the NICU and your preemie.

Using Adobe’s .pdf format makes the guide usable across a wide range of platforms from ipad to PC, smartphone to macbook.

Packed with extra features like progress charts, NICU checklists and plenty of others. ‘The preemie guide’ is a must for any new parents.


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