Is it teething time for your little one?
As Pampers support parents of preemies, we speak to Irish mum who shares her NICU journey

Karen Lester gave birth to baby Lauryn at 28 weeks.  As if this experience wasn't traumatic enough, she gave birth during the Covid-19 pandemic which meant she was subject to the imposed restrictions which have affected so many mums-to-be.  As Lauryn turns 5 months old, we sat down with Karen to hear about her preemie journey. 

Could I just have a few details about your baby girl, what gestation she was born at, weight when she was born, how long she had to stay in hospital etc?

Lauryn was born at 28 weeks’ gestation, she weighed 2lbs 13oz and had a total stay of 6 weeks in hospital.

What was your immediate concern when you knew that your daughter was going to be born early?

I wasn't sure if she'd make it. Because she was born so early, I was concerned about her lung and brain development. It was tough for me to comprehend that Lauryn would be born so early. I had great hopes that she would hang on for longer, but when I went into spontaneous labour and realized her birth was happening, I felt an immense fear unlike anything I had ever felt before.

What effects can prematurity have on a baby?

When a baby is born too soon, so is their skin, meaning everything that touches their delicate skin must provide gentle protection during those critical stages of their development. For a preemie baby, every touch feels huge which means everything that touches their delicate skin must provide gentle protection. It’s extremely important to provide your baby with the right care at this stage of their life. Pampers Preemie Protection nappies are the smallest nappies designed to protect delicate skin.

What did you find the most challenging about Lauryn’s NICU stay and was there anything that made it easier?

Seeing Lauryn for the first time in an incubator so small and helpless, hooked up to so many tubes was  a very hard realization and I was flooded with intense guilt. You strive to give your baby the best possible start if you can, so I was pumping and expressing milk at all hours of the day and night, but I was trying to balance family life as I have older children, which was quite difficult. In additional to this, my husband was not allowed to visit me due to COVID.

Do you feel there is enough support for parents of preemies?

If you look for it, yes there is support from organisations like the INHA, however not everyone is aware of charities like this. The INHA supports and empowers parents of premature babies and provides access to the developmental support and education needed to care for them. Pampers is partnering with the INHA to ensure every premature baby’s delicate skin is protected and that their families are supported and feel confident caring for their little one. For every pack of Pampers purchased from retailers between 1st June – 30th June 2021, Pampers will donate a Pampers Preemie Protection nappy to those in need.

What advice would you give to parents who are dealing with a similar situation?

  • If possible, enlist the support of relatives and friends, especially if you have other children. Speak to organisations like the INHA and avail of the education and support provided.
  •  If you can, get extensively involved in your child’s care while he or she is in the NICU; this not only helps with bonding but also gives you more confidence in caring for your baby.
  • Provide your children with the right care and protection. Pampers Preemie Protection nappies are the smallest nappies designed to protect the delicate skin of babies weighing as little as 1.8lb. They offer a customised fit to minimise disruption and give premature babies the comfort they need as they continue to develop.
  • Please get professional treatment if you require it, even if it is years after the event; there will be several triggers and emotions to cope with. Working through these issues with the help of a professional is sometimes the best option. My first piece of advice is to take care of your mental health.

How is Lauryn doing now?

Lauryn is thriving, she is very alert and hitting all her milestones. She is already showing plenty of character.

What is Pampers doing to support the parents of premature babies?

Pampers are supporting parents of premature babies to ensure every premature baby’s delicate skin is protected and that their families are supported and feel confident caring for their little one.

For every pack of Pampers purchased from retailers between 1st June – 30th June 2021, Pampers will donate a Pampers Preemie Protection nappy to those in need. For a preemie baby, every touch feels huge which means everything that touches their delicate skin must provide gentle protection. Pampers Preemie Protection nappies are the smallest nappies designed to protect the delicate skin of babies weighing as little as 1.8lb. They offer a customised fit to minimise disruption and give premature babies the comfort they need as they continue to develop.

Pampers is going beyond product donations and has joined forces with the INHA to help support families of premature babies. The INHA provide parents with access to the necessary education and support so they feel confident caring for their little ones.

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