What is World Prematurity Day?
World Prematurity Day happens every year on the 17th November and is a global movement to raise awareness of preterm birth and the impact it can have on the families involved. Did you know that 1 in 7 babies born in the UK are admitted into the neonatal unit each year? World Prematurity Day raises awareness of this important issue; the hurdles that babies and parents face; and the support available to help overcome these challenges.
WaterWipes: So gentle they can be used on premature babies
WaterWipes have been specifically developed to be as mild and pure as cotton wool and water. They provide safe cleansing for the most delicate newborn skin and can be used on babies from birth. In fact, they are so gentle they can even be used on premature babies. WaterWipes biodegradable, vegan, baby wet wipes are made with just two ingredients: 99.9% purified water and a drop of fruit extract, which makes them the world’s purest baby wipes. WaterWipes have been recommended by midwives and healthcare professionals worldwide and are the preferred wipe for many neonatal intensive care units throughout Ireland, the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand.
Our work with Bliss
WaterWipes is proud to be partnering with Bliss and supporting it with the fantastic work it does.
Bliss was founded in 1979 by a group of concerned parents whose main goal was to help give every premature and sick baby the care that they deserve. Today, it continues to champion the right for every baby born premature and sick to receive the best care possible through its research and campaigns. Its alternative approach, which is focused on not only supporting the baby but also their family and healthcare professionals, has enabled a massive change in how neonatal units care and operate. Back in the 1970s, funding in the neonatal unit was nearly non-existent, and with a lack of staff training, equipment and facilities, 36–60% of referrals were almost never accepted. Today, neonatal care is a highly specialised service where over 100,000 babies receive specialist, often life-saving care, every year. Nearly 200 units operate across the UK, working together in networks to ensure as many babies as possible are born in the right place, at the right time and as close to home as possible.2
Placing parents at the heart of their baby’s care is a key goal for Bliss. The charity wants to ensure that parents feel involved and supported when it comes to caring for their baby and are able to do all the things they would normally be able to do if their little one was not premature or sick, such as changing their nappy, feeding, dressing their newborn and cleaning their tubes. WaterWipes conducted research with Bliss amongst UK parents to understand some of the challenges they face, and a massive 96% of parents said they wish they could do the little things for their baby that would normally be taken for granted. A further 50% said that the first time they truly felt like a parent was when they changed their baby’s nappy for the first time.3 In addition, 66% of parents felt unsure about what they can use on their baby’s skin.3
Family-centred care is a key focus and a pioneering approach for Bliss, as it understands that parents can be left feeling stressed, lonely and helpless when looking after their premature baby and that it is crucial for the parent-child bond to be protected. Our research demonstrates that just being able to do the simple things for your baby, such as wiping their skin and bottom, is an important milestone for any parent.
Bliss milestone cards
To mark World Prematurity Day (17th November 2019), WaterWipes has helped Bliss produce a new set of baby milestone cards, which will be provided to families with a baby in neonatal care for free. These are not your ordinary milestone cards but are instead designed specifically for premature and sick babies so that their parents can celebrate their achievements during their neonatal journey. These include: “Today I had my first cuddle”, “Today I left the incubator”, “Today I am going home” and “Today I made a mess”.
Bliss Baby Charter Conference
The Bliss Baby Charter Conference is a national event designed to bring together healthcare professionals from across the UK to showcase excellence in neonatal care. Each year, speakers at the event discuss methods on how to promote both neonatal and family-centred care in the neonatal intensive care unit. An award ceremony is also part of the conference to celebrate the exceptional work carried out by the neonatal units across the UK. Many different awards are presented, with one of them being the Team of the Year award, which recognises one team who has shown exceptional care in its neonatal unit to both the baby and family. This year, WaterWipes was the headline sponsor at the Bliss Baby Charter Conference. It also supported the Team of the Year award.
Congratulations to the neonatal team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, who won the 2019 WaterWipes Team of the Year award. It was highly driven in promoting and encouraging family-centred care, providing services that suit the needs of families in the unit and allowing parents to be a part of their little one’s development.
1 Bliss. Statistics about neonatal care [online]. Available from: https://www.bliss.org.uk/research-campaigns/research/neonatal-care-statistics/statistics-about-neonatal-care [Last Accessed: November 2019].
2 Bliss. Prematurity statistics in the UK [online]. Available from: https://www.bliss.org.uk/research-campaigns/research/neonatal-care-statistics/prematurity-statistics-in-the-uk [Last Accessed: November 2019].
3 Survey conducted amongst 123 parents to gather insights from parents of babies born premature or sick and are cared for in the neonatal unit. Research conducted September 2019.