November 17th is World Prematurity Day. At ProgenyHealth, our mission is to improve outcomes for this vulnerable population. Prematurity (birth prior to 37 weeks gestation) is the leading cause of death worldwide in children under five years of age. Here are a few facts illustrating why prematurity remains at the forefront of population management agendas.
As we observe Prematurity Awareness Month, one of our nurse case managers shares her tips for parents whose babies are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or special care nursery as a result of their premature birth or medically complex condition.
Natalie has been a Registered Nurse for 22 years and 16 of those years were spent in the NICU. Her job was to care for babies that should have been safe and growing in their mother’s womb. Natalie recalls some preterm babies being so small that they could fit in the palm of your hand. Natalie said that it is so rewarding to help a baby born this small survive, and months later see them go home with their parents. She not only helped tiny premature and medically complex babies survive, but she also supported their families during their child’s NICU stay. It was her passion to help these families that brought her to ProgenyHealth as a NICU Case Manager. The NICU is a challenging, very fast paced environment making it difficult for many parents. Here are some things that Natalie learned through her many years in the NICU that she shares with families during what can be one of the most stressful times in their life: