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. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide and so this day raises awareness of this important issue, the hurdles that babies, parents and healthcare professionals 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 are made with just two ingredients; 99.9% high purity 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.
This World Prematurity Day, WaterWipes will be supporting a variety of organisations across the world, to raise awareness of this truly global issue.
WaterWipes are working in partnership with Bliss to support the fantastic work they do in helping babies born premature or sick to have the best chance of survival and quality of life.
Family-centred care is at the heart of everything Bliss does; they want to ensure that parents feel involved and supported when it comes to caring for their baby. It is important that parents are able to do things they would normally be able to do if their baby wasn’t premature, such as changing their nappy, feeding or dressing their newborn. WaterWipes conducted research with Bliss, to show how parents feel when their baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Research showed that 96% of parents said they wish they could do the little things for their baby that would normally be taken for granted.2 50% said that the first time they truly felt like a parent was when they changed their baby’s nappy for the first time.2
The importance of parents being able to do these simple things for their babies also led WaterWipes to work with the charity to create and distribute Baby Milestone Cards, which will be launched to parents this World Prematurity Day. These milestone cards will be designed specifically for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units to celebrate their milestones and achievements during their neonatal journey.
WaterWipes also sponsored Bliss at the Bliss Baby Charter Conference this year. The Bliss Baby Charter Conference is a national event designed to bring together healthcare professions from across the UK to showcase excellence in neonatal care. Each year, speakers at the event discuss innovative solutions that prioritise family involvement on the unit. An award ceremony also celebrates the exceptional work that neonatal units across the UK do. Many different awards are presented with one of them being the ‘Team of the Year’ award, which WaterWipes also sponsored, which recognises the excellence of one team who have shown exceptional care in their neonatal unit, to both babies and their families.
Congratulations to the neonatal team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, who won the ‘Team of the Year’ award this year. They made a huge drive to promote and encourage family-centred care, providing services which suit the needs of families on the unit and allowing parents to be a part of their babies’ development.
Medcare Women and Children Hospital (UAE)
To celebrate World Prematurity Day this year, WaterWipes in the United Arab Emirates are in a collaboration with Medcare Women and Children Hospital in Dubai, a specialized premium private hospital, which offers a state of the art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
WaterWipes and Medcare together will host an Encouragement Session / Celebration for parents whose children were born prematurely in the hospital and have now grown and gone through the many milestones in their lives – the little NICU Graduates as they are fondly called. Also joining this session will be parents whose babies are currently in the NICU. The session will be led by the Unit Manager, who works very closely with each and every family, sharing insights, stories and important information to all in attendance. Adding to this, there will be two Emirati mothers, who will be sharing their own emotional and encouraging stories with the audience. An expected number of parents who will be attending the session is around 60-70 parents in total.
This event in Dubai provides an important platform for parents with NICU babies to receive the reassurance and inspiration they need from parents who have gone through a similar experience
Irish Neonatal Health Alliance (Ireland)
WaterWipes are working in partnership with the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance (INHA) to support the incredible work they carry out to help premature babies and their families. With almost 4,500 babies born prematurely in Ireland every year, it is a rollercoaster of emotions for parents whose babies are being treated in a neonatal intensive care unit for what can last for weeks if not months.
The Irish Neonatal Health Alliance was established and has grown out of the experiences of such parents and their desire to provide more support to other parents taking the same journey. The charity’s work falls into five main areas: Advocacy, Awareness, Support, Education, and Research.
WaterWipes has teamed up with the INHA this year to create specially designed ‘Milestone’ cards for parents to chart their baby’s progress. Each small milestone reached is not only significant in their development but is also a huge boost for parents and something really positive that they can focus on. The milestone cards can be placed on the babies’ incubator to record and celebrate important milestones in the babies’ journey.
Project Sweet Peas, NICU Awareness Month (USA)
Project Sweet Peas is a non-profit organization based on the east coast in the USA. It is coordinated by volunteers, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing support to families of premature or sick infants and to those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss.
Project Sweet Peas recognises the importance of parental involvement in caregiving and decision-making in the NICU, and seeks to promote family-centered care competencies in hospitals nationwide. Care packages, hospital events, peer-to-peer support, financial aid, educational materials, and other Project Sweet Peas services, support the cultural, spiritual, emotional, and financial needs of families as they endure life in the NICU.
In the USA, WaterWipes is planning activity with the organisation for World Prematurity Day; however, they have also been working with Project Sweet Peas to raise awareness of NICU Awareness Month this September, offering parents the chance to win a year’s supply of WaterWipes.