Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Preemie Prints Story: Carissa and Makena

My name is Carissa and this is the story of my little miracle Princess Makena!

I got pregnant unexpectedly at 30 years old. I was super happy to add to our little family of three. I remember just being so anxious to find out what we were having. My pregnancy started off with lots of all day sickness. I was super sick everyday!! Of course I figured it was just morning sickness and I tried all the home remedies to cure my upset tummy. I believe I was about 16 weeks along or so when I noticed I was getting this pain in my upper right side,it felt like it was under my ribs. I also had some breathing issues and had to be in the hospital over night due to my oxygen level being too low for a pregnant woman. My doctor told me over and over it was just because baby was putting pressure on my lungs and that I was carrying high so that was where the pain was coming from. I went on like normal...working, taking care of the family and exercising during those months. We found out that we were having another little girl and of course I started buying everything I could! I was still getting sick most days, but I was surviving. 

I had a doctor appointment at about 27 weeks along. We went through the normal process like every other appointment but this time they told me my blood pressure was a tiny bit high. I guess they didn't see a problem with it and I scheduled my next appointment for 29 weeks to take some tests and talk about when to schedule my c-section. I had a c-section with my first daughter so we were just gonna do the same with Makena. A few days; later in the middle of the night, I woke up in pain. My right upper side was really hurting me. I tried a bath and tried to just sleep through it but nothing helped. I finally woke my boyfriend up and said I had to go to the hospital. My mom came and got my older daughter and we checked into the ER. Since I was 27 weeks they sent me up to labor and delivery. They admitted me over night to watch me and run tests. 

My blood pressure was still high and after being there 24 hours they said the proteins in my urine was very very high. My doc came in and said it seemed like I had pre-eclampsia and I was going to deliver this baby girl early. Our local hospital is small and doesn't have the ability to care for a pre term baby or a high risk pregnancy so I was transported to Eugene about an hour away. I remember how scared we were and I kept praying I could make it until 30 weeks at least. I begged God to keep me and Makena safe and to let me keep her inside me as long as possible.

Once we got to Eugene they had me on best rest with low stimulization. They had me watch videos about the NICU and had a NICU doctor come in and talk to us about what to expect. That was a Sunday afternoon. I made it through that day and the next. They were doing nonstop labs on my blood and liver and watching me close. I turned 28 weeks on Tuesday. That morning at 6am they came in to take more blood. I remember I felt sick and so I called the nurse in to tell her that I was feeling pain again and I felt sick. She took my blood pressure and it was very high. The doctor decided it was time to take baby. I was in risk of having a seizure and so off I went to get prepped for a c-section. 

At 8:58 am on November 9,2010 Makena Braelynn was born!

She came into this world 12 weeks early and weighed a whopping 1lb 8oz and was 13 3/4 inches long. I didn't get to see her but I sent daddy to check on her and take some pictures. Meanwhile things with me took a turn for the worst. My blood pressure didn't lower and my breathing was slowing down so much they were afraid I was going to seize. I don't remember too much during the recovery that day but my boyfriend said it was hard. He didn't know if I was going to make it. I finally woke up and slowly over that day I got up and moving. Unfortunetly my blood pressure was still high and my liver was not working right. It must of been a whole day before they wheeled me down to the NICU to see my tiny little girl. It was love at first sight! She was so small and under the blue lights for her
jaundice. I got to touch her hand and I told her I loved her and we were all praying for her. 

It took a few days before I finally got to hold her because of me being sick. I can close my eyes and remember just how I felt the first time I got to hold her. I didn't want to give her back to the nurses! I was there about a week longer and then I got discharged...I didn't want to leave her there but we had to.

As for
Makena she had very strong healthy lungs and the nurses and doctors were surprised that she was doing so good. But as we know in the NICU its never just an uphill battle its a roller coaster. At first she didn't have to have a SI-PAP or C-PAP but pretty soon she started having a lot of apneas. Her precious nurse Lori spoke to the doctor and requested they take some blood because she suspected something was going on with our little girl. Thank goodness for her because they found a bacteria in her blood and had to start her on antibiotics. She had to be put on the SI-PAP machine and I believe she was on it for about a month. I know I didn't know if how I felt was right or if I was the only mommy in the NICU that felt the things I did. 

I remember being angry at times. Angry I couldn't take my baby home with me when others around us were going home. We ended up staying in a guest house in Eugene because we live so far away so it was hard to be away from home and away from my 10 year old daughter so much. My boyfriend TJ was having his own hard time through all of this. He felt helpless and worthless. He wanted to be home and I couldn't bear to go home for the few days a week that we would. I cried everyday we had to be away from her...every second I couldn't be with her. I don't think I have ever cried so much in my life. Makena had other issues during the first month too. She wasn't making enough urine so they were worried about her kidneys at one point and also her heart. Then there is all the ultrasounds and scans of her brain and her heart and her eye exams. It was very overwhelming some days. I felt like it would never end. Then the day came in December that I got a phone call from Makena's primary nurse. They moved her down from the SI-PAP (breathes for her) to just a C-PAP (just flow)! I was so happy!! 

It was only a few days later when they decided she was doing so good with hardly any apneas that they took her off her C-PAP and put her on HHNP(high humidity nasal prongs). I loved finally being able to see her face! To kiss her little cheeks and feel her skin against mine during Kangaroo care

 Its funny..I thought as she got better it would get easier but it never did. I always worried that she was awake and that she knew I wasn't there. It seemed like after her breathing machines came off she progressed quickly. They took her prongs out about halfway through December and it was Christmas eve when they gave her a bottle for the first time. She ate the whole bottle her very first time. Makena did great and now that I look back we are so very lucky. She didn't have to have any surgeries and I know there were so many things that could of been wrong. I thank God for keeping his hand over her!!

At the beginning of January the doctor told me that they thought I could take Makena home in about a week. I got very nervous and scared! I was so ready these couple months to take her home and now that I knew the time was close I was so nervous. Could I keep her safe and from getting sick? I wanted to take our favorite nurse Lori home with us! But the day came...January 11th Makena got to come home with us. She was 4lbs 9oz and still so very small. We have been home since then and she is doing very good. At her last appointment she was 8lbs 15oz and 20 inches long. I am so grateful to all the nurses and doctors who took care of her. This experiance has forever changed me and my life. I feel like a have a calling in life help
premature babies and raise awareness of pre eclampsia. I wouldn't take it back for anything!

Thank you Carissa for being so open and sharing your story with us! You brought us some very scary issues that moms of preemies deal with before and after delivery. I loved how you really put them into terms that everyone can understand. Your story also reminds me of my Pre-E diagnoses and how serious it can be. Our organization, because of my story and so many others like you, supports the Preeclampsia Foundation for helping to raise nationwide awareness of this very serious conditon. God bless you and your little girl and thank you so much for being so open with us! ~Amber @ Preemie Prints

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Preemie Print Story: Holly and Anquan Jaden

My son AnquanJaden was born at 25 weeks. He was born Oct. 15,2010 and was due Jan. 24,2011. He weighed 1lb 15ozs, at his lowest he went to 1lb. 7ozs. My husband and I were so excited about having our first son together. I was going to the doctor twice a week because I have high blood pressure problems but the baby was fine. Well October 10, I went to my ob/gyn because I was having bad pains they said everything was fine. The following Thursday I was getting ready to leave the house, I thought I went to the bathroom on myself because it wasn't a gush like the other times, so I never thought it was my water breaking. The following morning I was sick and throwing up and thought that was why I was cramping. My oldest child and I went to Walmart and went to the bathroom. When I wiped I felt something sticking out of me, I thought it was an arm well it was really his leg I ran out screaming and crying. 

I got to the hospital; my son was breech and they did an emergency c-section. When they pulled him out he was crying and that was the best day of my life. I got to hold his hand before they shipped him a hour away to a hospital with a NICU. The following evening the doctor called to talk to me and she said that he wasn't going to make it through the night because he was bleeding badly into his lungs. Most people stay 3 days after a c-section I was out in a day so I could spend what the doctors thought was his last few hours. I just prayed and cried.

The next day they did another x-ray and couldn't figure where the blood had went. The next few months was crazy, from having a little blood around his brain to him getting a staph infection. We were praying he would be home by
Christmas; but we thank God he wasn't, because Dec.26 after being off the breathing machine for almost a month he had a bad Brady spell where they almost lost him. They re-tubed him and everything. 

Not even a month later, almost a week before his due date, he was coming home Jan.18 weighing 6lbs 3 ozs. He is doing great at 5 months and a little over 10lbs, although he now has Bronchiolitis and RSV, I'm so thankful and blessed that God allowed me to get to know great doctors and nurses and trusted me enough to be a great mom to a wonder micro preemie miracle

We want to thank Holly for sharing her story with all of us at Preemie Prints and wish continued success and good health for little Anquan Jaden now and in the future.

Help With Infant Reflux & Colic

After reading through their website this product really seems like a great idea for newborns suffering with reflux. I know from experience that reflux is a common preemie issue and how terrible that it can be on both baby and mom. There are many great products that seem to be marketed to help with the issue, but the Res-Q is the first of it's kind being used by many NICU's already and can be used at home. I'd love to know if any of our readers have any experience with it!

Here is a small description from their website and a picture:

The RES-Q Infant Wedge is the first reversible orthopedic FDA class 1 device for babies with reflux (colic) which promotes musculoskeletal alignment in both tummy and back-lying positions.

Hospital Applications

Benefits of the RES-Q Wedge as observed by NICU nurses and therapists:

yawning baby resting on Res-Q Wedge
The (NICU) developmental wedge provides proper boundaries and positioning.
  • Improved reflux symptoms
  • Increased O2 saturations
  • Decreased episodes of apnea
  • Decreased occurrence of bradycardia
  • Deeper sleep states
  • Shorter hospital stays

For a great resource for practical solutions for reflux and colic and to purchase this product visit Polywog's website at: 

To learn more about the Res-Q Wedge visit their website at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Preemie Prints Story: Alex & Braeton

I am a Mom to 4- 2 miscarriages,and 2 preemies-one became an Angel a little over 3yrs ago...

My 3rd pregnancy was going good I thought as I made it past the the 2nd trimester and I was excited to find out I was having a boy. We knew the name all along "Alexander" as we were going to name his older sister Alexandria before I m/c. I was working for a very demanding, in-sensative Dr who made my job & life very stressful. After a heated meeting I became so upset-I got sick and could not eat. I did not feel Alex move the rest of the day. I called out the next day and still hadnt felt him move. I developed a migrane,started throwing up like the excorsist and literally gained 20lbs overnight. Something was telling me to call my Dr and I didnt want to seem over dramatic. I kept thinking "my appt is in 3wks..It can wait" I thought maybe I just needed to get out and get some fresh air. I went to get lunch and visit my husband at work...I couldnt eat more than a bite. He urged me to call the dr,so I did. He asked me to come right in....and I did,by this time I was lethargic. I was immediatly sent to L&D -I was only 24wks and still clueless to how serious things were. Alex was born 2days later when I went into total kidney failure. He weighed 1lb 10oz and didnt make a sound, but he was alive. I got to breifly see him before they rushed him to the awaiting NICU here at St.Louis Childrens Hospital. I remember touching his tiny finger and saying "Stay strong Mommy loves you" 

I got a call later that night saying they didnt expect Alex to live thru the night. I prayed that night-hard all night. I was hours away from being put on life support myself as my organs were shutting down. I prayed to God "just make me stronger so I can see him again and give him my love" Alex survived the night and many more with me by his side everyday....until his little body couldnt fight anymore and he went into liver/organ failure and was bleeding internally. We had to say "good-bye" to him 2 days shy of 4 mths.

Two days after Mothers Day that same year, I found out I was unknowingly pregnant again. I had Alex's little brother Braeton at 34wks and he weighted 4lbs 5oz and this time we heard a cry. That was music to our ears & dad & I just started laughing, then crying in the delivery room. Braeton (aka "BUG") was born with Pierre Robin Sequence and co-arctation of the aorta. He was in the NICU 4mths and had atleast a dozen surgeries. He has a few coming up including a 3rd heart. Bug just turned 2 in Dec and althought he is still learning to walk he is a happy little boy.He has many more challanges to face and we will get there together-with his Guardian Angel brother guiding the way.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story ;)-
In loving memeory Alexander McKinney Hirschmugl 09/23/07-01/21/08 & Braeton Allen Hirschmugl 12/12/08

We thank Sara for sharing her inspiring story of hope, prayer, and strength with us. ~Amber

Monday, March 21, 2011

Developing News: Are NICU's Overused in Texas?

Texas Tribune article is below, I encourage you to read it if you are a Texas preemie mom for more information regarding Texas NICUs and the possible need for guideline implementations to curb the high costs. We will wait to see how this situation develops in the coming months, after their studies are conducted, to see if there actually is a need to combat inefficient and unnecessary NICU use in Texas.

In the article a prominent Texas Children's neonatologist agrees there is a problem. The number of NICU babies have spiked dramatically in the past years and the reasons may not be "all natural" he said. We are in contact with the senators and Doctor mentioned in this article so we can stay on top of any new studies and developments for our Texas preemie moms. We are based in Texas and will be an investigative and strong voice for you when it comes to anything dealing with NICUs or preemies. 

Judging from the numbers there are reasons that are worth investigating and from this article that is all I can see happening. Hospitals will not be turning babies away from the NICU even if they are a late pre term baby who needs to be there. I know from having two preemies costs are out of control totaling somewhere around $50,000/per baby for one month. So if NICU babies are increasing at this rate it is worth investigating to find out why. 

Below is the article, I would love to have your feedback as this is a very new and developing story. We don't have a lot to go on at this point so it is hard to take a stance. I am just adding it to this blog as a "developing story".

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Preemie Story: Brianna

My name is Brittany Robinson. I wanted to share the story of my daughter’s birth with you. Before I start I want to give you a little background information about my husband and I. My husband and I have been together for 8 years now. We got married in the 5th year in 2008. He is in the United States Army and he promised me that he would marry me when he came home on leave from his tour in Iraq..and we was the best day of my life. We decided that we weren’t going to have kids for 5 years so we could enjoy the married life and get settled. We moved to his duty station which was Fort Lewis, WA and started our life together. I loved the army life and being the spouse of a soldier. Brian went away for a month for training and I missed him like crazy and had a lot of time to think about things. I started thinking about how precious life is and that I wanted my grandparents to see my children. So that night I told Brian I wanted to try getting pregnant when he came home and he agreed. 

We tried for a few weeks and there was no luck..I started getting down in the dumps so I decided that I needed to pray more and ask god to bless me with a child..I prayed a million times a day..every second I had.. whether I was at work or at home. Then we found out that Brian would be deploying in a few months and that made me want a baby even worse but I had no luck. So on September 13,2009 I kissed my soldier goodbye and headed back home to NC to be with my family. Well 10 days later I found out I was pregnant and my husband and I were very happy and couldn’t wait to meet our child. My pregnancy was very rough from start to finish. 

I was sick the whole time and very miserable. When I was 6 months pregnant they made me start coming to the doctor once a week due to my fluid being low. On April 3rd I was getting ready for bed when the pain kicked in. I didn’t want to wake up the whole house because the next day was easter. Not to mention I had went to the emergency room with my sister a million times with false labor..I just tried to get the pain to ease but at 3am I had to wake everyone up because I was bleeding and had to get to the hospital. After several tests they decided to put me in a hospital room. They started doing an ultrasound and being pregnant and all I had to go pee. So I went to the bathroom and the bleeding had started again but worse..I came out of the bathroom screaming that something was wrong with my baby and we had to get her out now. My doctor arrived within minutes and told me that we had 45 minutes to get this baby out or she was going to die. 

When she said those words I went into shock. I didn’t care what pain I was going through or the pain I was about to go through but we had to get my baby out ok. I started to freak out because my husband is all the way across the world in Iraq. I had to tell them all his information so they could contact the Red Cross and then realized that I had to focus on Brianna. I had an emergency C section. Brianna Nicole came into this world on April 4, 2010 @ 7:59am Easter morning. She weighed 3 pounds 2 ounces. She was so tiny but my love for her was big. I loved her so much and I was relieved to hear that she was going to be ok. Her dad made it to the states 3 days after she was born and I was relieved because I needed someone to help me through this hard time. Our baby was going to be in the hospital for weeks. 

I remember feeling so alone. My body was still telling me that a baby should still be in there..I would feel my stomach and she wasn’t there and my arms were empty as well..all I wanted was my baby girl. However I knew that the nurses were going to take good care of her. I got to know them all very well and they were like her mommy while I was away. Brianna was a fighter from the beginning, she didn’t need oxygen. She was breathing on her own and the doctors said that all she needed to do was gain weight. I had really bad depression and the only thing that could make it better was seeing my baby but when I left that hospital the pain came back. I wanted to stay up there and hold her all day but she needed her rest and I needed to try to live as normal as possible or I was going to lose my mind. My husband was a great support system and we got through it one day at a time. Brianna was in the hospital for 42 days and the morning I got to bring her home was the happiest day of my life. It felt so good to hold her and to have her things and her clothes. 

Her father however had to return to duty the day after she got home so he got to spend about 24 hours with her before he had to leave..that day at the airport broke my heart..I saw my husband’s heart break like I have never seen it before. He came home when Brianna was 4 months old and she loves him with all her heart. 

Brianna is almost a year old and she is doing great. Her weight is where it should be, she is crawling, clapping, saying words, and I don’t let the preemie word get me down. To all of the mothers that have preemie children, don’t let the word preemie discourage you. I have had so many people and doctors tell me that my child will do this and they will do that late. You just enjoy that bundle of joy and don’t let peoples words get you down. I let so many people get me down and it wasn’t worth it. Thank you all for reading my story.

A very special thank you to Brittany Robinson for writing and sharing her courageous story with Preemie Prints. 

NICU Mom Meetup Friday March 25th at 6:00pm

Monday, March 14, 2011

SIDS Research

Low Production of Serotonin in the Brainstem a Likely Cause for SIDS

Doctors closing in on mysterious cause of death in infants

Boston, Mass. -- Taking the next step in more than 20 years of research, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have linked sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with low production of serotonin in the brainstem, based on a comparison of brainstem samples from infants dying of SIDS compared to brainstems of infants dying from other, known causes.
The findings, published in the Feb. 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, may give a concrete approach to identifying babies at risk for SIDS, the leading cause of death for infants between 1 and 12 months old in the United States.

In the brainstem, serotonin helps regulate some of the body's involuntary actions, such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure during sleep. The researchers, led by Children's neuropathologist Hannah Kinney, MD, believe that a low serotonin level impairs the function of the brainstem circuits that regulate these activities, putting a baby at risk for sudden death from stresses such as rebreathing carbon dioxide when sleeping in the face down position.

The future goal of this work is to devise a test to identify infants with a serotonin brainstem defect early, and to develop preventive treatments that would correct the serotonin deficiency.

In 2006, Kinney and colleagues showed that SIDS is associated with abnormalities in the number of cells and receptors related to serotonin in the brainstem, but it wasn't clear whether SIDS may be caused by overproduction or underproduction of the chemical.

In the new study, the team measured the levels of serotonin and tryptophan hydroxylase, the enzyme that helps make serotonin, in 35 infants dying from SIDS and two control groups (5 infants dying acutely from other causes, and 5 hospitalized infants with chronic hypoxia-ischemia (insufficient oxygen supply to tissues). Tissue samples from the brainstem were obtained from autopsies and provided by research partners at the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office in California.
Compared with controls, the serotonin levels in the lower brainstem were 26 percent lower in the SIDS cases compared to controls, while the tryptophan hydroxylase levels were 22 percent lower. Levels of binding to serotonin receptors were also lower by more than 50 percent. The consistency and correlation of these findings with each other reinforce the idea that SIDS in the majority of cases is a disorder of serotonin the brainstem, the researchers say.

"The baby looks normal during the day; there's nothing that would tell you that baby is going to die of SIDS that night," says Kinney, who has studied SIDS for more than 20 years. "There's something about sleep that unmasks the defect, which we believe is in serotonin circuits: the baby experiences some kind of stress during sleep, such as rebreathing carbon dioxide in the face-down position or increased temperature from over-bundling, that cannot be compensated for by the defective brainstem circuits, and the baby then goes on to die."

In a normal baby rebreathing carbon dioxide, serotonin pathways in the brainstem would stir the baby awake long enough to turn its head, allowing it to breathe fresh air, Kinney adds. A baby with low serotonin levels in the brainstem may never stir.

SIDS has puzzled doctors and families for decades, but once the medical community recognized that a baby's position while sleeping affects the risk for SIDS, national awareness campaigns sprouted to persuade parents to place babies to sleep on their backs. However, such campaigns haven't completely solved the problem, prompting ongoing research to find a biological component to SIDS.

While this study provides strong evidence for a biological cause of SIDS, it also shows that other risk factors, such as sleeping on one's stomach, can aggravate the risk. Of the SIDS infants in the current study, 95 percent died with at least one risk factor, and 88 percent died with at least two.
The next step in this research is to find out what causes abnormally low serotonin levels in the first place. Genetic variations may be partly responsible, says neuroscientist David Paterson, PhD, in Kinney's lab, a contributing author of the paper. Kinney's lab is searching for such variations.

In the meantime, parents should remove unnecessary SIDS risk factors, Kinney says. During pregnancy, there is no safe level of alcohol a mother can drink and no safe level of smoking, both firsthand and secondhand. Until 12 months of age, babies should sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress, and without toys, soft pillows, excessive blanketing or excessive clothing.

This study was supported by funds from the First Candle/SIDS Alliance, CJ Martin Overseas Fellowship, the CJ Murphy Foundation for Solving the Puzzle of SIDS, CJ Foundation for SIDS, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and the Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Children's Hospital Boston.

Citation: Jhodie R. Duncan, PhD, David S. Paterson, PhD, Jill M. Hoffman, BS, David J. Mokler, PhD, Natalia S. Borenstein, MS, Richard A. Belliveau, BA, Henry F. Krous, MD, Elisabeth A. Haas, BA, Christina Stanley, MD, Eugene E. Nattie, MD, Felicia L. Trachtenberg, PhD, Hannah C. Kinney, MD. Brainstem serotonergic deficiency in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. JAMA Feb. 3, 2010, Vol. 303, No. 5.

James Newton



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Highlight: Prayers from the NICU

Prayers from the NICU is a brand new book I just stumbled across. It is absolutely beautiful and truly inspired by God. Here is the link for you to purchase the book through Tate publishing. They also have an E-Download option which is very useful for moms in the NICU right now, so they don't have to wait for ship time.

Prayers from the NICU

A Mother's Devotional
by Jeanna J. Plunkett

"One day, these difficult times will be a memory and this daily record will be precious to you and your child.
The birth of a child should be such a wonderful time, but when a child is admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it is terrifying. NICU days are full of fear, confusion, and pain. Prayers from the Neonatal ICU was written by Jeanna Plunkett, a mother who spent a total of ninety-seven days in the NICU, first with her premature twins and then again with her critical one-pound preemie, Jamey. This chronicle of JeannaĆ¢€™s experience contains inspiring stories of JameyĆ¢€™s fight for life as well as inspirational passages from Scripture. This touching volume also contains a personal prayer journal that will help readers record their day-by-day concerns as well as their family's progress. Prayers from the Neonatal ICU is an inspirational devotional full of a mother's love for her child and the Father's love for us. Join author and mother Jeanna Plunkett for a journey of pain, growth, and promise through Prayers from the Neonatal ICU."
212 pages - $13.99 (paperback)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meet baby Aara...a miracle born at only 24 weeks

I just wanted to write a short little post about baby Aara, since I know a lot of you have been praying for her! She is a miracle baby born at 24 weeks on January 9th, 2011 weighing only 610 grams (1 lb 6 oz). I met with her mom recently to offer support and deliver a NICU gift bag. We had a wonderful visit and she emailed me yesterday with an update that Aara now weighs 2 lbs. 11 oz. We are so happy she is gaining weight! She is now at 58% oxygen and her saturations are in the 90s! The birth announcement I just made for her family is below. I will offer up my services for other families with preemies, who may be in need of a birth announcement for their early bundle of joy too. I wanted to attach it so you all can see what a little tiny adorable miracle she is and continue to keep her in your prayers.

Spotlight: Mothers Milk Bank Austin

"We are actively looking for new
donors right now and any outreach efforts are helpful. Once their own
baby's needs are met, moms of premature babies make excellent milk donors,
since the majority of our patients are premature babies as well. Their
milk is so perfectly suited for the tiniest patients."

-Whitney Musitano
Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin

Donor milk is a hot topic these days! The Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin is providing donor milk to hospitals all over. So much research has been done on the advantages of breast milk for premature infants that I think it is important for moms to consider this alternative. When and if your Doctor prescribes donor milk consider turning to this organization. Also, if you are a mom blessed with a large milk supply they are always looking for donors!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Did you deliver at a hospital with a NICU Level III?

There was an article posted today regarding transporting pregnant women in premature labor to hospitals with the highest-level neonatal intensive care units. The Cincinnati Children's Hospital study shows that transporting moms before giving birth to her baby greatly increases their babies' odds of surviving.

Quoting from the article, "Very low birthweight babies born at less than 32 weeks' gestation are less likely to suffer severe complications if they're born at a hospital with a Level III NICU than if they're transported to such a facility shortly after birth, according to a study in today's Pediatrics." I am wondering how many of our preemie moms delivered at a hospital with a Level III NICU and how many had to be transported after their birth?

The study states that the ambulance ride is where a baby may suffer more severe complications like brain bleed, or intracranial hemorrhage, as well as body temperature regulation even with assistance. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends very low-birthweight preemies be delivered at hospitals with Level III NICUs. The study states that educating obstetricians and nurses on the advantages of transferring moms to NICU level III's is the best thing to do and best case scenario for all parties involved. 

Blog post adapted a story which can be read at:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

25 Week Old Miracle Baby

Here is a story of a NICU mom and her 25 week old miracle baby she calls her "rock star". Sharing your journey may inspire hope in a mom facing a similar situation now or remind a mom of her previous experience and the courage she gained. This beautiful story is worthy of sharing...

We would love to share your personal story with others. So if you feel like typing please send your story to us!