Prem2Pram Under New Ownership

My name is Rachel and I have a four year old son. My son was born prematurely and was diagnosed at two days old with a congenital heart defect, he had a very rocky neonatal period and we spent many weeks between the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a cardiac paediatric intensive care unit (PICU)  we spent his first Christmas on the NICU before finally bring him home.  He is my only child and the light of my life he amazes me every day.

My experience on the NICU inspired me to create Starting life in NICU which is a baby journal designed specifically for premature and sick babies and in 2010 I launched tinylittlebaby

Owner of Prem2Pram

Its through tinylittlebaby that I met a wonderful lady who’s help and advise was invaluable through those early days, that lady was Sue the founder and previous owner of Prem2Pram.  I am honoured to take over Prem2Pram and will continue to run the business with the passion that we both share.

A medical engineers view on suitable premature baby clothes

As an adult patient we rarely consider the clothes that we wear whilst we are in hospital. Even when the hospital gives you a loose fitting gown to wear for an operation or whilst they are placing monitoring equipment on to you as the patient do we really give much thought to the reasons behind their requests.

For premature and poorly babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s (NICU) and Special Care Baby Unit’s (SCBU) we show extra concern for the well being of the child and yet as concerned adults we sometimes miss the opportunity to make sure that the clothing they wear is really the best suited to the environment in which the baby is being cared for.

The majority of premature baby clothes do not allow for the easy access required for staff and for the medical devices that constantly monitor a poorly babies condition. As a medical engineer these devices are then on occasion reported faulty and then must be repaired and fully tested by the Electro-Biomedical Engineering Department (EBME) or in some instances by external companies contracted to look after the devices. This can cause delays if there are no spare units available or that the staff are unable to locate spare monitor and sensor leads for the equipment.

How can the monitor and sensor leads become damaged?

The leads must be deformed through a tight radius and pushed or pulled in to position on clothes that are not specifically designed to allow easy access. Over time the constant flexing and re-flexing of the leads causes internal damage. The equipment may as a result start to give inaccurate readings, of which the staff are unaware. This causes possible concern when there is no real need, or of NOT raising an alarm when one is perhaps required. If the device leads break completely internally then a fault is more apparent, however, until the staff are able to fit new monitoring leads to the baby and test equipment there is no way of knowing if the error is the leads or with the device it self. This results in more disturbance of the poorly baby, more concern and worry for the parents and more concern and stress for the medical staff involved. To minimise the possibility of such issues arising it would be ‘best practice’ to have the premature or poorly baby wearing clothes that eliminate or greatly reduce such occurrences.

Well designed premature baby clothes like those offered by Prem2Pram are designed and manufactured after consulting with the NICU and SCBU staff of local hospitals as well as discussions with a range of medical engineers some of whom have nearly 30 years experience in the EBME field. The ideas and suggestions from all the staff involved across different aspects of the babies care have been considered and implemented to offer a range of premature baby clothes that are comfortable, stylish and as medical environment friendly as possible.

premature baby clothes

As a grandparent of a premature baby and as a medical engineer with family and friends with over half a century of EBME experience I can wholeheartedly suggest to all parents of premature and poorly babies to think carefully about the clothes that they use whilst in hospital and recommend the parents to consider the range of premature, NICU and SCBU clothes offered by suppliers such as Prem2Pram. A little extra care taken in advance can save so much stress and anxiety for everyone involved, from baby to hospital staff, from parents to grandparents and even family friends.

 

Premature Baby Health Issues

Because a premature baby is early he/she is more prone to health problems.  These tiny premature babies often have underdeveloped lungs as well as other issues and as a result have higher rates of disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Because of the various health concerns a premature baby is given medical assistance immediately after delivery. Depending on how prematurely a baby arrives he/she is likely to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for assessment to determine his/her medical needs.

Premature baby Girl

Below are some of the more common conditions that occur in premature babies:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome
a breathing disorder related to the baby’s immature lungs.  Because a premature baby’s lungs frequently lack surfactant, a liquid substance that allows the lungs to remain expanded.  Artificial surfactants are often used to treat these tiny babies in conjunction with a ventilator to improve baby’s breathing and to help maintain sufficient oxygen levels in the blood.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
is the medical term used to describe babies who require oxygen over a longer period of time.  The severity of this condition varies and as baby’s lungs mature they tend to outgrow the condition.

Apnoea
is the medical term given when the regular breathing rhythm is interrupted for more than fifteen seconds.  The condition is often is associated with a reduced heart rate, known medically as bradycardia. A pulse oximeter is used to measure oxygen saturation a drop in oxygen is known as de-saturation. The majority of babies outgrow the condition by the time they go home.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
previously known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is an eye disease that affects premature babies in which the retina is not fully developed. The majority of cases resolve without the need for treatment, although serious cases may require surgery. Both oxygen toxicity and relative hypoxia can contribute to the development of ROP.

Jaundice
is the result of a build in the baby’s blood of a chemical called Bilirubin. As a result of this build up the baby’s skin takes on a yellow tinge. Treating the condition involves placing the undressed baby under special lights whilst covering baby’s eyes to protect them from damage.

 

 

The greatest gift is giving

For those of you who have not read Eveline’s blog post simply titled please will be unaware that her sister in law gave birth prematurely to twin boys Jenson and Lewis,  Jenson was born at 2 lbs 10. His brother Lewis followed less than 30 minutes later at 2 lbs 6.  Both were so tiny, they were taken away to be put in incubators. Mum was too ill to go and see them.

In Eveline’s post she  asked “If you would like to send my sweet future sister-in-law a card, letting her know that you are thinking of her boys, please contact me through Twitter, the Ning site or my email address ( ukeveline @ blueyonder dot co dot uk) and I will give you the address to send your card to.”

Having read Eveline’s post I was immediately taken back to when my girls were in NICU and I recall with perfect clarity the array of overwhelming emotions.  I recall seeing babies much smaller than my girls and I remember just how difficult it was seeing those tiny babies dressed in nothing more than a hat and a nappy.  You see twenty plus years ago there wasn’t anywhere that stocked premature baby clothes.

I contact Eveline and requested her address so that I could send an early Christmas present to Jenson and Lewis.  I am delighted that the outfits have finally been delivered.

Christmas gift for two premature baby boys

I regularly send premature baby clothes to several UK neonatal intensive care units, however it was wonderful to be able to help an individual family.

This Christmas the greatest gift I will have received is the gift of giving, there’s no feeling like it.

If you or a family member is looking to buy a gift for a premature baby then please visit our on line store Prem2Pram

A guide to buying hospital safe premature baby clothes

Buying clothes for a newborn baby is one of the joys of being an expectant mother – but what if your baby is premature and is too small for the normal size baby clothes found in shops and on line sites?

Several mothers of early born babies have realised the significance of the situation and have now designed and manufactured ranges of specialist premature baby clothes.

Hospital baby clothes for use in the NICU and SCBU departments have special requirements. They must be designed to allow easy access for the tubes, wires, sensors and probes that may be connected to the baby whilst being cared for in the specialist units. Even so they must still fit the baby well and be designed to not just be functional but to look good too! After all new parents always want the newest addition to their family to look cute and well cared for. By making the correct choice in hospital prem baby clothing the confidence of the concerned parents that the premature baby will be soon be at home the same as a normal healthy full term baby is raised. The extra confidence this affords to the parents; and possibly extending to the staff is such a great benefit for managing the stress and concerns of all involved that the benefits can’t be lightly discounted. For the more calm and happier all the adults involved are then the better it is for everyone’s health, including the babies.

Whilst searching for a supplier of suitable premature baby clothes there are several features that can assist the hospital staff in their medical care of the baby. As various pieces of equipment may be attached to the baby for monitoring purposes, or the bay may require an X-ray or scan carried out it is important that the baby can be dressed or undressed with as little disturbance as possible.

NICU baby clothes and SCBU baby clothes should be designed in such a way that Babygro’s open out completely flat and have fastenings on each side. Thus allowing quick and easy access to staff and medical devices with the minimum disturbance to the baby. NICU/SCBU Babygro’s should be of a ‘footless’ design to enable the attachment and removal of monitoring devices to the foot of a baby. If required a premature baby bootie or sock can be used over a foot that does not have a monitor attached, alternatively a slightly larger bootie or sock can be used over the foot with the monitor sensors. This will allow staff to check and adjust any sensors attached to the baby’s feet without having to disturb them as much as a normal Babygro design might cause.

Hospital safe neonatal baby clothing

 

If the baby is in the SCBU and has a condition that might lead to X-rays and scans to check on aspects of the baby’s condition then the SCBU baby clothes can benefit from the use of plastic fasteners rather than the more tradition metal fasteners. The plastic fasteners can enable the baby to be X-rayed or scanned without the need to remove their clothing.

All premature baby clothes and especially NICU and SCBU baby clothes should be designed and made of the softest and least abrasive fabrics possible. The skin of such early born baby’s is so delicate that it can be far more easily damaged than that of a full term baby. All fastenings should be adequately protected from being able to come in to contact directly with the skin; firstly to prevent possible damage being caused through abrasion and secondly in order to prevent any possible allergic metal reaction.

All NICU and SCBU premature baby clothes should be made of materials that do not allow any build up of electrostatic charge. Electrostatic discharge – commonly referred to as ESD can cause discomfort and other issues for the baby, as well as to staff. What feels like a ‘static’ shock that makes an adult jump back could be far more severe to a poorly premature baby that has either a heart or breathing condition.

ESD can also damage medical probes and the monitors they are connected to, although they are designed to be protected from such occurrences the conditions in which the devices are used and maintained can cause the monitoring devices to give inaccurate and spurious readings especially if the ambient humidity of the environment is very low. Although hospitals may try to maintain a comfortable humidity level that is healthy and comfortable for the patients, if the humidity is too high the baby’s will be very uncomfortable – although free of ESD concerns! If the humidity is too low and environment dry then the baby can then be affected by static build up.

All premature baby clothes should be designed to take in to account all of the above concerns as well as ‘looking good’ and the baby looking ‘cute’ it is paramount that the clothes they wear at such a crucial stage in their care and development is the best available for comfort, safety and practical for use in a hospital environment.

See our full range of hospital safe premature baby clothes in our online premature baby store, where you money buys you more. http://www.prem2pram.co.uk

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/babies-articles/a-guide-to-buying-hospital-safe-premature-baby-clothes-2361697.html

About the Author

Sue Edmondson runs Prem2Pram the online premature baby store http://www.prem2pram.co.uk as a mother herself of two premature babies she understands the difficulties parents face when their baby arrives early.

Money isn’t everything

Preemie baby gifts

Recently out of the blue I had an offer to purchase my on line premature baby clothes business and as you can imagine I was delighted that someone thought so highly of my business that they were willing to buy me out.

As I never intended to run a business I saw this as an ideal opportunity to sell up and get back to my original intentions, which was to make, bespoke premature baby clothes for family and friends in order to and raise money for local neonatal units.

After coming back down to earth and seeking advice from business friends, several questions were raised.

Why are they interested?

Is it because they see a potential growth market or do they consider you a competitor and want to close you down?

Would I be happy relinquishing control of your creation?

Would the quality of the clothing diminish under new ownership?

How would I feel if the reputation of the business suffered ?

With so many questions racing around in my head I needed answers, so after several emails and numerous telephone conversations a price was agreed, however the terms and conditions of the sale would prevent me from ever setting up another baby related business.

Also I would be required to relinquish all my patterns and this would mean I wouldn’t be able to use the patterns myself.

And the final nail in the coffin was I would have to agree not to make any baby clothes for anyone else, meaning I would no longer be able to make premature baby clothes for my local NICU.

I tried to explain that I enjoyed making bespoke baby clothing and that I would want to continue to do so; all be it on a smaller scale for friends, family and my local neonatal baby unit.

After in depth discussions regarding the terms and conditions of the sale I felt their expectations were unreasonable and as they were unwilling to compromise I felt I had no alternative but to decline their offer.

Taking everything into consideration I feel I made the right decision and  I am happy in the knowledge that my business was considered worthy of such an offer.

A Guide to the NICU

What is NICU?

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a specialist area designed to look after and treat premature and ill babies. The NICU is equipped to deal with premature babies. The NICU staff are specially trained to care and treat premature babies.

Premature babies are generally moved to the NICU once they are stabilised, they may be taken up in a Radiant Heater.

What to Expect in the NICU?

Once your baby has been taken up to the NICU, the staff will carry out tests and an examination. At the time parents and family are often not allowed in there, so the staff can carry out their work quickly and easily, this can take up to 90 minutes. You will be kept informed about what is happing to your baby and if any procedures are required they will discuss that will you.

While they are away from you the following tests and procedures will be taking place:

  • The NICU staff will examine their breathing and see how much oxygen they are getting. If they are having trouble breathing they may x-ray their chest to find the reason.
  • They will take blood samples to check glucose, calcium, and bilirubin levels.
  • They will start an Intravenous Line (IV) to ensure your baby has fluids constantly.
  • General newborn routines will take place including a vitamin K injection to ensure there are no bleeding problems.
  • Antibiotics will be administered to their eyes to prevent infection.

Once you get into the NICU your baby maybe attached to monitors do not be alarmed they are there to help your baby. There are a lot of machines in the NICU, read our guide to the NICU Equipment.

Who will be looking after my Baby?

There are a lot of people that will be looking after your premature baby and supporting you in the NICU:

Neonatal Nurse – They have been specially trained to look after ill and premature babies. You will see different nurses as they change shift. A Charge Nurse is the nurse in charge of the shift. A Primary Nurse will be assigned to your baby; you will see both your Primary Nurse and the Charge Nurse.

Neonatal nurse practitioners – These are registered nurses who have had extra training and an advanced education. They will also have years of experience in the NICU.

Neonatologist – This is a doctor that has had 3 years extra training and specialises in looking after newborn babies. You will see the Neonatologist every day.

Your baby may need to see a specialist; there are many different specialists. Some of them you may see are:

Paediatric Surgeon – Specialises in children’s surgery

Paediatric Cardiologist – Specialises in heart problems

Paediatric Cardiac surgeon – Specialises in heart surgery

Paediatric Pulmonologist – Specialise in the lungs

Paediatric Nephrologist – Specialise in the kidneys

Other staff you may meet can include:

Respiratory Therapists – This person will help set up and administer respiratory treatments

Developmental Specialists – They will work with both the NICU staff and the parents at home. They are specialists in infant development and will advise on how to improve feeding skills and how to move your baby.

Neonatal Nutritionists – They will ensure you baby has all the nutrients they need

Neonatal Pharmacist – They will help manage your baby’s medication

Social Worker – They will help you cope with the stress of having a premature baby and can give advice in a number of areas.

NICU Clark – The NICU Clerk sits near the entrance to NICU and monitors who comes in and out.

Questions to Ask the Neonatal staff

The staff of the NICU is there to help and advise you as well as looking after your baby, feel free to ask them any questions. Make a note as they come to you so you don’t forget.

Some questions you may want to ask are –

  • What is specifically wrong with my baby? Ask them to explain so you can understand what’s happening.
  • How will they be treated?
  • What is involved with their care?
  • How long will they be in the NICU for?
  • What medication do they have to take and when?
  • How is my baby being fed?
  • How long can I stay with my baby?
  • Will I be able to breastfeed my baby?
  • Will someone help me with breastfeeding?
  • Will I be able to bottle feed my baby?
  • What tests does my baby have to have?
  • What care will I have to administer when we go home?
  • Will I be given advice before I leave?
  • Will someone becoming to my home to help?
  • Can I hold my baby?
  • What can I do?

Bonding With Your Baby in the NICU

Bonding with your newborn baby is really important and especially so with a premature baby. Don’t be scared by all the machines and wires you can still bond with your child.

  • As a parent you are generally allowed in the NICU 24 hours a day, your presence and voice will help with the bonding.
  • If you are able to hold your baby, then try skin to skin with them. Place your baby under your top on to your skin. You may need to undo their sleepsuit if they are wearing one so your skin is touching. Keep them covered so they stay warm.
  • If it’s possible then try breastfeeding or express and bottle feed them.
  • If you cannot hold them in your arms, then you may be able to stroke them or hold their hand.

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