When my son was born it was a bit of a trauma, emergency caesarean, general anaesthetic, baby a bit premature and me a bit ill. My husband stood alone in the corridor at midnight while I was whisked off one way, our baby another.
Fast forward 24 hours and baby boy is in an incubator improving by the minute. It took 3 days for me to improve enough to see him for the first time, which is something that still bothers me 14 years on.
My boy is now a healthy sporty bean pole despite his dramatic entry into the world, but I still remember the worry while he was in special baby care.
Monday 17 November marked World Prematurity Day,
1 in every 13 babies are born prematurely in the UK each year around 60,000 births, and they frequently need monitoring and support in hospital for days, weeks or even months. Premature babies haven’t finished growing and the earlier they are born, the more likely they are to experience health issues such as chronic lung disease or bowel problems, and to struggle with feeding and keeping warm.
1 in 5 parents of premature babies are afraid to tell family and friends their baby has arrived so baby charity Tommy’s have come up with a FREE APP to help parents.
The Tommy’s My Premature Baby App has been designed in consultation with mums and dads of premature babies. It will act as a companion for parents, giving them practical advice and insight through those early days on the Neonatal Unit or Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), it’s features include:
- Tommy’s expert Having a Premature Baby Guide, available in an easily searchable format
- A diary feature, allowing parents to record their baby’s progress, significant milestones such as coming off breathing support, and their own thoughts and feelings.
- Users will also be able to search for other people’s prematurity diaries on the app.
- The ability to plot weight and height on development charts customised for premature babies
- The ability to record times, amounts and types of feeding and set alarms for breast feeding or expressing
- A sharing function, so that baby’s pictures and progress can be shared easily with loved ones or shared more widely via Facebook.
- A Finding Friends feature. Mums and dads can enter their own postcode and contact other local parents by email who have been through the prematurity journey.
Tommy’s My Premature Baby App is free of charge and available for download from Monday 17 November from www.prematurityapp.org
Please spread the word and help support parents of premature babies.