Preemie News & Events

New research finds baby's genes, not mom's, may trigger some preterm births

Some babies may be genetically predisposed to being born too soon, and variants in the DNA of the fetus—not the mother—may be the trigger for some early births.

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Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Risk of Preterm Birth in Study

Women who have low blood levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely, a new study suggests.

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Sodium May Help Premature Babies In Early Stages

Could sodium help premature babies thrive? Recent findings published in the Journal of Parenteral & Eteral Nutrition found that infants given sodium supplementation typically gained more weight than those who did not receive the same help early on.

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Major blood vessel constrictor contributes to vision loss in preemies

A gene known to play a major role in constricting blood vessels also appears to be a major player in the aberrant blood vessel growth that can destroy the vision of premature babies, according to research.

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Pregnant women with PTSD more likely to give birth prematurely, study finds

Pregnant women with a recent diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder were 35 percent more likely to deliver a premature baby than were other pregnant women, a study of more than 16,000 births found.

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World Prematurity Day 2014

World Prematurity Day 2014

In November 2014 we will celebrate the 4th worldwide awareness day for prematurity. Last year more than 60 countries worldwide celebrated the day and raised awareness for prematurity, newborn and maternal health. 1.4 billion people around the globe were reached. Last year, the art project Socks for Life was a big success. Many organizations, societies, hospitals, private sector organizations, individuals and for the first time ever artists and their networks took part and gave preterm infants and their families a voice.

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For NICU parents, Skype provides the 'next best thing'

A U.Va. nursing pilot project is using Skype to keep parents in touch when they are away from the hospital. The pilot takes aim at that despair that many parents feel when they cannot be there. Using an iPad set atop a tripod, hospital caretakers introduce themselves to absent families, who can ask questions, make observations and see their baby close-up. "When you have an extended stay in the NICU, it gets harder and harder to be apart, and to be able to see one another on Skype, be able to talk, it made such a huge difference in our NICU experience”, said one father— of an infant born prematurely at 29 weeks—who is nearly 100 miles away.

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10 of the best apps for caregivers

Lots of helpful new apps are popping up for everyone from expectant mothers, to proud dads, to caregivers in the NICU. We’ve put together ten of the very best apps—all available for iOS, and most are available for Android— and plenty of them are free to download.

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Hospital's Using New Bed Designed to Help Premature Babies

A new specialized bed has been designed just for preemies. The bed was recently used in San Diego when a baby was born four weeks early and not breathing— her umbilical cord was tied in a knot. Seconds after she was delivered, she was placed into a special bed so that the team of doctors could pump oxygen into her lungs while she was still attached to her mother's umbilical cord. Within the first minute, the baby began to “pink up."

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MyPreemie app in the App Store on iTunes

Families of premature babies finally have an app designed especially for their practical and emotional needs. The app is a complete tool kit conceived by experts on prematurity that is also fun to use. Check out the special preemie growth charts that show whether your baby's growth is on track.

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Kangaroo Care Provides Benefits to NICU Babies

When a baby is born premature, mom and dad may feel helpless when it comes to caring for their newest family member. But there is one thing they can do with proven success. It's called Kangaroo Care or skin-to-skin contact. NICU Lactation Consultant says, "it reduces their length of stay, and helps them gain weight." She says the touch is named after the animals because kangaroos keep their young close to their skin.

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Parents of Sick and Premature Babies Get Help from New Program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center

A new program to support families with sick and premature babies hospitalized immediately after birth was unveiled at University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) today. UCMC is a partner in the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center--Ohio Collaborative, a unique, team-based research initiative that brings together the brightest minds from many disciplines -- geneticists, molecular biologists, epidemiologists, engineers, computer scientists and others -- to explore the unknown causes of early births.

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Mother's Voice on Special Pacifier Helps Preemies Learn to Eat

Baby with special pacifier. Photo: Vanderbilt U. Medical Center

Premature babies often struggle to learn to eat. Now, a special pacifier that plays prerecorded songs seems to help speed the process along, researchers say. When babies suck on the pacifier properly, they are rewarded with a song sung by their mother.

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Test of Preemie Breathing Treatments Finds Similar Complication Rates

A trial comparing two types of noninvasive breathing treatments for premature infants has found them similarly effective -- but less likely to prevent severe lung injury than previously thought. The study, which compared nasal continuous positive airway pressure and nasal intermittent positive-pressure ventilation, found that the rates of complications for the two treatments were about the same. "The two treatments really have no great benefits above each other. They're equivalent," said the study's lead author, Dr. Haresh Kirpalani, a professor of pediatrics in the division of neonatology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Home Visit Programs May Help Preemies and Families

Home visits by nurses or other trained health professionals can improve the development of preterm infants, parenting and the home environment, according to a new review of recent research. “Overall the trend did seem to support that it is effective," Dr. Neera Goyal, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children's Hospital Cincinnati Medical Center and the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.

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Smoking Cessation for Pregnancy and Beyond

Smoking Cessation for Pregnancy and Beyond

Smoking Cessation for Pregnancy and Beyond: A Virtual Clinic is a free, interactive Web-based program designed for health care professionals to hone their skills in assisting pregnant women to quit smoking. Up to four hours of continuing education credits (CME, CNE, CEU, CECH, CPE) can be earned by completing the practicum that was developed by the Interactive Media Laboratory, Dartmouth Medical School in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program includes interactive case simulations and mini-lectures from leading experts on motivational interviewing and pharmacotherapy use during pregnancy and beyond. The online training is available for free for a limited time (expires August 2014).

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Study: Prenatal Folic Acid and Risk of Asthma in Children

A study appearing online September 4th in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition includes a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) systematic review and meta-analysis on the association of folate and folic acid intake during pregnancy and the risk of asthma and other allergic outcomes in children. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine. The CDC's meta-analysis showed no evidence of an association between childhood asthma and maternal use of folic acid supplements in the prepregnancy period through the first trimester.

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Protect Your Preemie or Newborn from RSV Disease

Protect Your Preemie or Newborn from RSV Disease

Now that I'm a mom, I can't even begin to imagine what I'd do without my daughter. If anything were to happen to her, I know that it would break me. Moms form such strong bonds with their children, beginning in the womb, yet there is a silent enemy out there which threatens to break that bond and bring serious injury to your newborn. I want to share more information with you about a potentially life-threatening risk to babies called RSV disease.

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National Premature Infant Health Coalition
National Premature Infant Health Coalition unites with the Perinatal Section at PAS

National Premature Infant Health Coalition unites with the AAP Perinatal Section at PAS

The National Preemie Health Coalition linked hands with the AAP's Perinatal Section May 4th 2013 in Washington, D.C. to host a welcome reception at the Academy of Pediatrics Academic Societies meeting (PAS). Take a look at the video showcasing the work of The National Preemie Health Coalition -- a thriving vital "voice for the voiceless" premature infants. View the video.

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Risk Factors for Retinopathy of Prematurity Identified

Birth weight and gestational age are risk factors for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – a potentially blinding disease caused by abnormal development of retina blood vessels in premature infants – and should be considered when screening infants for the condition, a study by Turkish researchers shows.

"To prevent the irreversible visual loss, the population at risk should be better identified, risk factors should be recognized, and appropriate screening criteria adopted," say Bilge Araz-Ersan (Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Education and Research Hospital, Istanbul) and co-authors writing in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Tissue Engineers Develop Novel Treatment for Necrotizing Enterocolitis

To better treat children suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis, a disorder that results in intestinal tissue death, Dr. Tracy Griksheit and her colleagues at the Saban Research Institute have been engineering tissue to decrease morbidity. To treat this disease, dead intestinal tissue must be removed, significantly shortening the intestinal tract, which requires lifelong intravenous feeding. Dr. Griksheit has used human donor cells to extract stem cells that are grafted onto a biodegradable scaffold. As the cells differentiate in a bioreactor, intestinal-like tissue forms. Rat trials, in which the generated tissue was transplanted into the intestine, were promising. Dr. Griksheit anticipates that, in the future, this may be a successful treatment.

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In Preemies, Maternal Smoking Tied to Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Maternal smoking has been identified as a risk factor associated with the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants, according to a study published in Pediatrics. NEC is the death of intestinal tissue and most often affects premature or sick babies.

Cynthia D. Downard, M.D., from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues reviewed the medical records of infants with NEC identified from a neonatal intensive care unit database as well as the prenatal and delivery record of the patient's mother. Each of 73 neonates with NEC was matched to two neonate controls who were treated at the same institution.

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Preemies Today

Preemies Today

Preemies Today is a non profit organization with a mission to provide outreach and support programs to families of infants born prematurely. To view their list of resources for families of preemies click here. To view the Preemie Today newsletter achive, click here.

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Preemie World

Preemie World

Preemie World was created to help bridge the gap between parent and professional in the NICU, at home and beyond. With books, videos, and other products and tools, the hope is to make everyone’s life just a little bit easier as the “new normal” is created in the life of the preemie and his/her family.

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A Calendar of Recent and Upcoming Events

2015 NAHN Leadership Meeting
Date: January 23-25, 2015
Location: Embassy Suites Downtown, Washington, DC
For more information: www.nahnnet.org

AMCHP Annual Conference
Date: January 24-27, 2015
Location: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
For more information: www.amchp.org/Calendar/Conferences/amchp-conference

NEO Conference
Date: February 19-22, 2015
Location: Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort, Orlando, FL
For more information: www.neoconference.com

36th Annual Conference on Pediatric Health Care
Date: March 11-14, 2015
Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
For more information: www.NapNap.org

12th National Advanced Practice Neonatal Nurses Conference
Date: March 11-14, 2015
Location: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, IL
For more information: www.academyonline.org
 

39th Annual NAPSW National Conference
'Leafing' our Mark on Perinatal Social Work

Date: May 6-9, 2015
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
For more information: www.napsw.org

2015 AWHONN Convention
Date: June 13-17, 2015
Location: Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
For more information: www.awhonnconvention.org

CMSA 2015 Conference & Expo
Date: June 23-26, 2015
Location: Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, FL
For more information: www.cmsa.org

2015 NAHN Annual Conference
Date: July 7-10, 2015
Location: Hyatt Regency, Anaheim, FL
For more information: www.nahnnet.org

NMA Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly
Date: August 1-5, 2015
Location: Detroit, MI
For more information: www.nmanet.org

43rd NBNA Annual Institute and Conference
Date: July 29-August 2, 2015
Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA
For more information: www.nbna.org

2015 AAFP National Conference
Date: July 30-August 1, 2015
Location: Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City, MO
For more information: www.aafp.org

15th National Neonatal Nurses Conference
Date: September 17-19, 2015
Location: Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, Orlando, FL
For more information: www.academyonline.org
 

18th National Mother Baby Nurses Conference
Date: September 17-19, 2015
Location: Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, Orlando, FL
For more information: www.academyonline.org
 

NANN 31st Annual Educational Conference
Date: October 22-25, 2015
Location: Hilton Anatole, Dallas, TX
For more information: www.nann.org

National Perinatal Association's 2105 Symposium
Pregnant Women, Drug Use, and NAS: Experts Share Science & Strategies That Help Women, Babies, and Families
Date: October 2-3, 2015
Location: Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
For more information: www.NationalPerinatal.org

American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition
Date: October 24-27, 2015
Location: Washington, DC
For more information: www.aapexperience.org

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Useful Information
See Our Advocacy Resource Guide View Tips on Caring for Preemies Sign up for email alerts
PreemieVoices on Flickr