November 17th is World Prematurity Day, and during this time I reflect on my own personal experience when our middle daughter, Siella was born at a low birth weight of five pounds and three ounces. At first, we just thought she was a little one, but immediate after I nursed her for the first time, they carted her off to the NICU, where she would spend the next 24 hours of her short life to be monitored.
Throughout the nine months while I carried her, I never felt better. In fact, it probably was the easiest pregnancy of my three. I remember having plenty of energy, ate healthy, and yoga classes were on my schedule a couple times per week. In fact, I visited my doctor the day before I went into labor, and she predicted the weight would be at least seven pounds.
So what happened? After I gave birth, my doctor noticed my placenta was practically destroyed. Siella was living inside me, not getting all of the nutrients she needed, which was basically the equivalent of her being on a diet in utero. The doctors ordered that my placenta be sent off for testing, but in the meantime, all we could worry about was our littlest fighter.
We eventually took Siella home, and I breastfed her non stop to ensure she gained size and strength to thrive. I remember Jason was intimidated be her size, concerned that he might hurt her, when holding one of her tiny legs back during frequent diaper changing. But As tiny as she was, I knew she was a strong little girl who was determined. She never refused a feeding, and it was almost like she knew she had to keep eating to around the clock. It’s funny because her personality reflects that today.
We were unaware at the time, but preterm birth is a national health crisis. 1 in 10 babies are born premature and this statistic has continued to increase for the second year in a row. For more than 46 years, Pampers has led innovation supporting Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses and their littlest patients. This year, Pampers is introducing the first-of-its-kind flat diaper designed to meet the unique needs of preemies in the NICU, especially those extremely low birth weight babies and severe skin breakdown.
The Pampers NICU flat diaper offers the same softness, absorbency and skin protection found in a Pampers diaper but with no elastic or tape, specifically designed to meet the needs of more than half of preemies in the NICU, including those with: Hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice), Abdominal defects and surgeries, Severe skin breakdown, and Extremely low birth weight. They really are the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.
In honor of World Prematurity month, Pampers will provide a box of diapers to every NICU hospital across the country, and will be donating up to $300,000 to the March of Dimes, to continue their shared mission to care for the happy, healthy development of every baby.
Here’s how you can get involved:
Share your #LittlestFighters story about the first time you were inspired by your baby’s fighting spirit on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram from November 6-17 and Pampers will donate $5 to the March of Dimes (up to $90,000).
Subscribe for any new Pampers on Amazon Prime from November 11-17, and Pampers will donate $10 to the March of Dimes (up to $150,000).
Donate your Pampers Rewards points to March of Dimes and we’ll match them during the month of November, (up to $10,000).
Submit your story on TODAY.com and Pamper’s will donate $5 to March of Dimes, up to $50,000. Now through November 19 at 11:59 EST. Submissions may be used within TODAY broadcast, TODAY.com and/or on TODAY social handles.
It’s been an honor working along side of Pampers each year, to raise awareness and money for World Prematurity Day. The brand not only understands the needs newborns and parents need and want, but they give back to the community, and I couldn’t be more proud to have aligned with them. And maybe you are wondering how our little preemie turned out. Siella is now a super smart, athletic six year old, who is probably one of the tallest in her class!