From the Archives: Prematurity and the NICU

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Prematurity Awareness Week 2013: How Do You Do It?

World Prematurity Day November 17In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely, 1 in 10 in Canada. Worldwide, over 15 million babies are born too soon each year. While not all multiples are born prematurely, a multiple birth increases the probability of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, are at a higher risk for health complications in infancy, some of which can have long-term effects. Full-term infants are not all free from their own health complications, of course.

In honor of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, led by the March of Dimes, How Do You Do It? is focusing this week’s posts on The Moms’ experiences with premature deliveries, NICU stays, health complications, special needs, and how we’ve dealt with these complex issues.


Most, but not all, of the HDYDI Moms’ multiples were born prematurely. For many of us, prematurity is a big part of our motherhood journey. For others, it is a footnote. Premature birth and its aftermath is a topic we’ve returned to again and again, although never in as focused a manner as this week. Here’s what we’ve said:

In the NICU

  • Phthalate Exposure in NICU Babies knows that the tubing used for her babies during their NICU stay was necessary, but still wasn’t ecstatic to discover that they exposed her sons to phthalates, substances shown to cause to affect sexual development in mice.
  • Corn Syrup in My Babies’ Formula?  finds the time to read the ingredients on her babies’ high calorie formula well after they’ve moved on to grownup food. She wasn’t happy with what she found.
  • NICU Rules has seen NICUs around the world and finds that each one has its own set of rules regarding how often parents can visit and what they are allowed to do.

Loss

  • In the MoMs Club – Just Barely:  writes about the loss of her son Carter soon after his birth and how she’s caught between being the triplet and loss mom she is and the twin mom strangers perceive her to be.

Leaving the NICU

  • Reunited writes about the emotions she felt on hearing that Marissa‘s son A was going home from the NICU

Coming Home

  • Everybody Take a Baby: Only one of ‘s triplets needed to spend time in the NICU. Managing sleep with two babies at home was difficult, but doable, but added the third baby into the mix took some creativity.
  • Trying Times of Twinfancy found that it was helpful to maintain the 3-hour NICU routine on arriving home, but it couldn’t last forever.

Staying Connected

  • Giving Back and her boys return to the NICU, every year on their birthday, to give a little something back.
  • The First Year looks back on her 30-weekers’ birth and NICU experience from a year later.
  • A Preterm MoM Intro has three premature sons, a singleton and twins. She has jumped into the role of an advocate for preemie parents, informed by her own experience in and beyond the NICU.

Mommy Issues

  • Prematurity and the NICU hdydi,comPrematurity Is Never Easy:  tried to prepare for the reality of prematurity, but couldn’t despite her best efforts. She still carries a lot of guilt about going into premature labour.
  • My Little Twin: Lisa finds herself actively working on leaving the trauma of the NICU behind and not categorizing the sicker of her babies after birth as “the little twin.”
  • Twinfant Tuesday: Three Things That Helped in the First Year Blur‘s surviving triplets spent 4 months in the NICU and she lost sweet Carter in the hospital. Still, she and her family made it through the first year with help, positivity and organization.
  • The Most Challenging Age talks about how hard the first year out of the NICU was on her.

The Aftermath of Prematurity

No NICU

Parenthetically About Prematurity

You may also want to check out the Infant Feeding archives for posts related to breastfeeding in the NICU and breastfeeding preemies after they’re home including ‘s Breastfeeding Buddies: Twin Brothers Nurse while Living in the NICU.

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Sadia

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

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