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 …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 …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 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 …Continue reading →

Children’s Hospital is a winner in online contest – thanks to all of you!

I have some exciting news to share with you. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of six hospitals to win $5,000 worth of breastfeeding products in an online contest.

The contest was sponsored by Medela, a leading maker of breastfeeding and breast pumping products. It was held to recognize national Prematurity Awareness Month in November. In the contest, people were asked to visit the Medela website and vote for their favorite Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Children’s Hospital was one of the top six vote-getters with 4,750 votes.

We’ll be splitting our prize between the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee and at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Neenah, Wis.

Thank you to all the patient families, friends of the hospitals and our employees who voted for us.

This generous prize is going to be put to great use. Breast milk is the best nutrition for babies. Time and again, studies have shown breast milk gives babies a boost in health, growth, fighting illness and development. The babies in our NICUs are among the most fragile in the region and they really benefit from the advantages breast milk offers.

Thank you again for your support.

~ Lisa Jentsch, director of Newborn and Fetal Care Services

Help us win an online contest for our babies

In more than two decades of working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I have seen firsthand how devastating it can be when a baby is born prematurely.

Today, 1 in 8 babies in the U.S. is born too early and it’s the No. 1 cause of infant death. Prematurity also can lead to lifelong disability.

Children’s Hospital has two NICUs. Our Milwaukee hospital cares for more than 700 newborns a year, and our Fox Valley hospital cares for more than 300 a year. Many of these babies are struggling with the consequences of prematurity.

You can help us care for these babies by voting in an online contest sponsored by Medela, a leading maker of breastfeeding and breast pumping products. During November, go to www.MedelaPreemieAwareness.com, register on the site and vote for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin or Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. You only are allowed to vote once. The six hospitals with the most votes will win $5,000 worth of breastfeeding products.

Learn more about prematurity and what you can do to help by visiting marchofdimes.com.

~ Lisa Jentsch, director of Newborn and Fetal Care Services