Preemie Matters – August 2009

In this issue of Preemie Matters - Preemies Today Offers Support & Information to Families  •  September 23-26: NANN's 25th Annual Conference  •  Helping Preemie Mothers Improve Breast Milk Supply  •  "Come Home Soon, Baby Brother!": New Resource for Siblings of NICU Babies  •  Saliva Testing & the Prevention of Premature Labor

Preemies Today Offers Support & Information to Families

Did you know? Among the many resources offered by national nonprofit support network Preemies Today is an informative and inspiring monthly newsletter. Available online in the archives of the Preemies Today site, the newsletter offers first-hand accounts from the parents and families of premature babies, research-based articles from health care professionals, practical tips for addressing common challenges with children born preterm and suggestions for additional resources. Though based in the Washington, DC area, the Preemies Today newsletter and web hub offer substantial support and information for families nationwide. To check out the homepage, click here.

September 23-26: NANN's 25th Annual Conference

Next month, September 23-26, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) will host its 25th Annual Educational Conference in Austin, TX at the Hilton Austin and the Austin Convention Center, with a variety of sessions to meet the needs of experienced and advanced practice nurses, provide core instruction for novice nurses, and address hot topics and emerging technologies in the field. As in years past, a number of educational sessions will focus specifically on key issues specific to prematurity. An exhibit hall will also attendees with booths sharing relevant products and services. To learn more, click here.

Helping Preemie Mothers Improve Breast Milk Supply

According to a study published online month online in the Journal of Perinatology, mothers of premature infants can efficiently establish and maintain their breast milk supply by combining electric breast pumps with hand-expression techniques. During the eight-week trial, 67 new mothers of preemies learned how to combine an electric breast pump with hand expression to extract milk. Unlike prior research studies showing poor milk production in these mothers, the subjects who used both hand techniques and a pump established plentiful supplies. By the end of the trial, there average milk production surpassed the amount needed to feed a health three-month-old, even though none of the participating women could nurse when their babies were born. The techniques used with study participants are demonstrated online.

"Come Home Soon, Baby Brother!": New Resource for Siblings of NICU Babies

Having a baby in the NICU can be traumatic for parents, but it can also be stressful for siblings who have anxiously anticipated the arrival of a little brother or sister. Siblings often feel disillusioned, upset, forgotten, or even to blame for the family's stress. They might not understand why their little brother or sister can't come home right away. "Come Home Soon, Baby Brother!" is a new, playful and informative coloring book just for them. Published by Platypus Media, this resource helps parents explain in a developmentally appropriate way that some babies are born early, tiny, or sick, and that the doctors, nurses, and machines in the NICU are all working to make their baby healthy enough to come home. It also lists additional resources available for families with a baby in the NICU. Platypus Media is offering a complimentary copy for readers of Preemie Matters, upon request. Just send email to Don't forget to include your complete street address.

Saliva Testing & the Prevention of Premature Labor

A new report published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology finds that in a study of women at elevated risk of labor before 34 weeks gestation, those who delivered early had abnormally low levels of the hormone progesterone in their saliva. The research team suggests that monitoring progesterone levels in saliva could prove to be a cost-effective and easy way to detect preterm birth risk, and could possibly lead to beneficial progesterone supplementation for women who need it. Authors also point out that the findings next need to be replicated in a larger study, since only 92 women made up the sample. For the abstract of this study, click here.


Information is reported as provided and does not necessarily represent the view of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. A complete copy of HMHB's disclaimer is available on our website.