Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

In honor of November being Prematurity Awareness Month and also World Prematurity Day on November 17th I thought I would do a top 10 about things you may not know about preemies.

1.  Did you know that over 13 million premature babies are born every year world wide?  That is a lot of preemies who have to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units.  (info from here)

2. Did you know that one of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm?  How about Stevie Wonder or Mark Twain!?  Yup, they were preemies too.

3.  Did you know that average cost of having your preemie in the NICU is roughly $15,100? And that is before medicine, doctors, specialist and machines that your preemie might need which could dramatically increase these costs.  Prematurity accounts for 47% of all costs related to infants.  (info from here)  That is over half!

4. Did you know preterm infants that have skin to skin connection with their parents gain weight faster, cry less, have a more stabilized body temperature, sleep better, breathe better, are often more alert, and have more stable heart rates?  Preemies need to be touched and connect with their parents.  Usually this is done through Kangaroo care and is so important to preemies and parents.

5.  Did you know that a simple bad cold in a full term baby could be life threatening for a preemie?  Preemies have lower immunity and need to be protected the first two years of their lives from the common cold and germs. That is why hand washing, keeping preemies home and out of large public places are so important.

6. Did you know that preemies are not just tiny little babies, they also are little fighters that have to overcome  many health concerns?  The range of health concerns is quite large and can range from short term problems such as breathing, heart problems and eye functions to larger long term problems such as cerebral palsy, hearing and visual impairments and developmental concerns. Each preemie has his or her own health concerns and what might happen to one 24 weeker isn't always the same for another 24 weeker.

7.  Did you know a preemie could be  less than one pound or as big as 9 pounds?  Premature babies fall in the range of 24 weeks to 36 weeks.  Their sizes, weights, needs and health conerns can all be very different.

8.  Did you know that most babies who spend time in the NICU do eventually come home?  Some babies spend a few hours, some a few days, and some spend many months in the NICU.  Thankfully, with modern technology, much research and experienced doctors, many premature babies get to leave the NICU with their parents.

9. Did you know that even though a preemie might have tubes, wires and vents all connected to them, they do know that their parents are there?  Preemies can sense, smell and hear their parents.  It is important for them to have their parents read books to them, to hear their parents talk to them, and to have their parents close.

10. Did you know that preemies are celebrated in November and especially on November 17th?  What a wonderful way to help others understand and learn more about preemies.  Wear your purple this Thursday for Preemies!


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