This coming November is World Prematurity Month and I am honored to partner with Pampers to share my story and bring awareness to a cause that is close to my heart. Read on to learn how Pampers and March of Dimes are celebrating preterm babies with the latest breakthrough of their smallest diaper yet specifically developed for babies weighing as little as 1 pound and designed to bring touches of love to even the most vulnerable babies. This is my #touchesoflove moment.
Twelve years ago, my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our third child, Cole. Having had two other children already, Kai and Juliette, we felt like veterans and we were excited to welcome a third to our family. For the most part Meredith’s pregnancy was worry free, that is, until at week 32 ½ when Cole decided he was ready to make an entrance earlier than expected.
I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. Meredith’s water broke and she was experiencing contractions that were growing by the minute, in frequency and intensity. The doctor ordered her to check into the hospital immediately. Almost moments after arriving, Meredith was whisked away to the emergency delivery room. Without a chance to prepare, literally or emotionally, we found ourselves in the throws of chaos as our little Cole began to literally show his head.
Rushing though the halls of Santa Monica UCLA’s birth and delivery unit, I was frantically trying to put on my scrubs while attempting to coach Meredith on her breathing as her labor intensified. It was a scary 30-40 minutes. Witnessing the strength of Meredith undergoing the pain of labor (drug free no less…there just wasn’t time) was both inspirational and daunting at the same time. At one point I witnessed Meredith’s eyes roll to the back of her head as she was mid delivery. For a brief moment, I feared I had lost her. She was totally unresponsive to my voice or touch. The delivery pain was so intense, it was as if Meredith had left her body and was in a state of shock. My heart sank as I felt helpless trying to connect to her while hearing the cry of our little boy at the same time as he entered this world. It was a complex moment filled with both fear and jubilation.
Fortunately, moments after Cole’s birth Meredith regained consciousness and my fear of losing her had vanished. However, it was immediately replaced by my worry and anxiety over the health of our new baby boy. Thanks to the amazing staff at Santa Monica UCLA’s NICU, our son was in the best care possible and my fear and anxiety had been put to rest.
In the U.S. about 380,000 babies were born premature in 2015.* Fortunately the survival rate of these tiny babies is increasing. ** Thanks to the dedication of Pampers, babies born weighing as little as 1 pound now have a diaper with the most trusted comfort and protection called the Pampers Preemie Swaddlers diaper (size P-3.) With over 3 years of work by the product development team at Pampers, NICU’s around the country now have a diaper to fit the tiniest and most vulnerable premature babies born today.
I for one can attest to the difficulty and stress associated to caring for a preterm baby. Our son was hooked up to so many monitors and was fed through a tube inserted into his nose. His sucking skills needed to develop so this was the best way for him to get the nutrition he needed to get stronger and grow.
Cole was attached to so many wires it was hard to believe he would be able to survive on his own. The bells and buzzers of the machines these wires led to were overwhelming and disturbing. We can all relate to the difficulty changing a newborn diaper without these distractions. But having to work around them was no easy task.
The staff at UCLA was remarkable in their ability to make us feel calm and secure that our son was in good hands. Positive touch is extremely important to the development of all babies but it’s especially important for the health and development of premature babies. Meredith and I both made it a point to hold our son with as much skin to skin contact as possible.
Prior to the development of the newest P-3 diaper from Pampers, nurses around the country agreed that the current available premature diapers do not conform to a premature baby’s shape and proper positioning for optimal development. But today that is no longer the case. The new pampers preemie Swaddler size P-3 has a 34% narrower contoured core to fit between legs and helps support healthy development. The cuffs gently seal around baby’s delicate legs, improving all around comfort. Tabs allow for a customized fit to minimize disruption and adapt fit around lines and leads. The unique liner pulls wetness and mess away from baby’s skin to help baby stay dry and comfortable. I for one am impressed and grateful for the team at Pampers for making this innovative breakthrough.
Partnership in parenting is important and the fact that Pampers took to heart the comments and suggestions of NICU nurses all over the country to improve the care and comfort of preemies born today is nothing short of spectacular.
Thank you Pampers for your dedication and support to help us parents of preterm babies feel confident and secure in the well being of our children. It’s no wonder Pampers is the brand trusted to be the #1 choice of U.S. hospitals for more than 40 years. ***
Today Cole is as strong and healthy as ever. I am so thankful for all the help we received during those weeks he lived at the NICU.
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In honor of World Prematurity Month, we would love to hear your #touchesoflove moment – whether it’s through a sweet tune, a warm smile or a soft touch. Share a photo with the hashtag #touchesoflove for a chance to win a Diaper Dude diaper bag AND a signed book of From Dude to Dad the Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy. 3 Winners will be chosen by random selection on November 17th, World Prematurity Day. In addition Pampers will donate money to The March of Dimes (which is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health) for every #touchesoflove moment submitted. So what are you waiting for? Share your photo today! Check out our contest page to enter now!
March of Dimes. (2015). Premature Birth Report Card. Retrieved from http://www.marchofdimes.org/mission/prematurity-reportcard.aspx.
**Live Science. (2014). US Preterm Birth Rate Drops to 17-Year Low. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/48632-preterm-birth-rate-report-card-2013.html.
***Based on sales of the newborn hospital diaper ©2016 P&G