Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s NICU Graduate Reunion unites for a cause

NICU reunion

Evan, a NICU graduate, and his dad enjoy a cupcake at the 2011 NICU Graduate Reunion.

Every year the tiny patient graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and their families are invited to a reunion with the nurses and doctors that cared for them. The 2012 NICU Graduate Reunion is being held in coordination with Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital benefitting critical care including neonatal care.

Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes invite all 2008 thru 2011 NICU graduates and their families to the reunion. Families are encouraged to sign up for the run and walk and …Click here to continue reading

Surviving against the odds: March of Dimes and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin help premature babies

Ireyln in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Ireyln in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

When I became pregnant with my daughter in 2007, I knew being diabetic could cause complications for me and my baby. At my six-month appointment, I alerted my doctor to vision problems I had been experiencing. I was immediately admitted to the hospital and found out along with my eyesight, my kidneys and heart were starting to fail.

As a single mother, I was preparing myself for the worst – the possibility that one or both of us would not survive. Doctors closely monitored …Click here to continue reading

Our littlest patients represent some of our biggest successes

In the past few years, I have been part of a team that has performed several procedures to save the lives of unborn babies. The EXIT (ex-utero intrapartum treatment) procedure is a way to deliver a baby safely when he or she has been diagnosed with a life-threatening lung or airway problem before birth. This might include a head, neck or lung tumor. The procedure helps ensure the baby will be able to breathe after birth.

During an EXIT procedure, a team of specialists—including a perinatologist, neonatologist and pediatric surgeon—put the mother and unborn baby to sleep with anesthesia. An …Click here to continue reading

NICU at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin wins breastfeeding products in online contest

I am pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of six hospitals to win $5,000 worth of breastfeeding products in an online contest sponsored by Medela, a leading maker of breastfeeding and breast pumping products. During November, people were asked to visit the Medela website and vote for their favorite Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in recognition of national Prematurity Awareness Month. …Continue reading this post

Why vaccinating family members helps protect babies

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week on a study that found having older siblings already vaccinated for chickenpox reduced the likelihood of infants developing chickenpox by 90 percent. Other medical studies have shown similar large decreases in the number of infants who got sick with measles, whooping cough and the flu when their families were up to date on vaccinations. These studies are a reminder that young infants are more vulnerable to many diseases. The younger infants are when they get sick, the more likely …Continue reading this post

These ABCs will help your baby stay safe while sleeping

Recently, there have been a lot of TV programs and newspaper stories discussing infant safe sleep, especially the debate about co-sleeping. Despite much research, we still aren’t sure why some babies die during co-sleeping and others don’t. Every infant death is tragic and involves a unique set of circumstances.

Here’s what we do know: between 2005 and 2008, 88 babies in the Milwaukee area died from accidental overlay, suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome. These cases involved boys and girls of all …Continue reading this post

How the breastfeeding team supported me and helped my baby

Our daughter Ella’s birth was a planned C-section at 34 weeks – 6 weeks early – due to a complicated prenatal diagnosis. The day of Ella’s birth, we held our breaths as Ella took her first. The highs were high and the lows were low, and it often seemed that just when we had a handle on our daughter’s condition, something would change and there was a new concern to address. …Continue reading this post

Why Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is going purple for prematurity awareness

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Support Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This program has brought support and information to thousands of families impacted by prematurity and birth defects. …Continue reading this post

Breastfeeding goes digital with flash mobs, videos, blogs and more

As a lactation consultant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I celebrate World Breastfeeding Week every August. This year’s theme, established by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy, is “Talk to Me: Breastfeeding, a 3-D Experience.” It’s the perfect theme to blog about!

This theme focuses on the importance of digital communication and social media. Blogging, texting, email and …Continue reading this post

How and when to advocate for your child with special health care needs

When my daughter was born, 19 years ago, she was whisked off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital due to concerning respiratory and digestive symptoms.  We quickly learned that she had many special health care needs that would require us to learn some new parenting skills.  I was told “You’ll have to speak for your daughter as she will not be able to speak up for herself.”  My response was, “I don’t want to!”

Advocating was not something that I had planned to due when I read the baby books during my pregnancy.  While I learned these skills because of Emily’s special needs, any …Click here to continue reading