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building a better second womb?

the new york times magazine recently ran a very lengthy article on heidelise als' efforts to change neonatal intensive-care unit practices to help better the micropreemie odds:

"Als's proclaimed mission is to make the intensive-care unit safe for the development of the brain. In a series of innovative studies, she has shown that a gentler environment in the N.I.C.U. can alleviate many of the complications of premature birth. ''You have to watch the baby, to listen to the baby,'' she says. ''The baby is a partner in everything you do.'' Als argues that N.I.C.U.'s must become quieter, darker and more responsive to a baby's desire for comfort and movement; ultimately, they should be as reminiscent of the womb's nurturing environment as doctors and nurses can make them."
we were fortunate enough to spend most of our time in a nicu with personnel that tried their hardest to keep the environment quieter and darker. or at least as quiet and as dark as is possible given the circumstances.

but after we transferred to different nicu for emergency eye surgery we learned that not all nicus put as much effort into keeping things quiet and we'd have to ask to have the light dimmed ( even at night ) etc.

hopefully miss als' work will become more recognized and adopted in the future so frustrated parents don't have to fight for what's so seemingly obviously good for babies born too soon.

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8/17/2005 11:40:00 AM 1 comments

1 Comments:

One day we won't have to worry about birthing babies the messy, uncomfortable way. We'll just slide them in a crisping sleeve, pop them in the Babytron and press a few buttons.

http://www.thingamababy.com/baby/2005/07/friday_fun_call.html

By Anonymous AJ, at 12:27 PM  

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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.



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