For me, just the thought of moving Emily from her back to tummy was pure torture. Her one pound eight ounce body was very fragile and embryonic-like. She had a feeding tube, breathing contraptions, blood pressure cuffs, and other medical equipment connected to her frail body. I was concerned that a gentle touch could unintentionally cause Emily to experience pain or dislodge a life-saving medical device.
Changing Emily's diaper wasn't easy either. For quite some time, the process required two of us -- and it wasn't quick. It often took 5-10 minutes for us to change Emily's diaper. We worked with the nurses to make sure that the process was safe and Emily was comfortable.
In the NICU, we used Pampers preemie diapers that looked similar to a tiny panty liner. Although the diapers were made for preemies, they were still too large for Emily's small frame -- so we made some adjustments. We gently placed the diaper around her potty parts and folded over the top half of the diaper so that it did not cover her entire torso.
It's been almost four years since our NICU journey. Emily's growing and learning something new each and everyday. She's talking up a storm and beginning to learn how to write her own name. She's become an independent little lady. In fact, she no longer needs diapers. She uses the potty like a big girl.
As Emily has matured over the last four years, products have continued to evolve to adapt to the needs of preemies and micro-preemies. For example, Pamper's recently introduced the Swaddlers Size P-3 diaper, which was specially designed to fit preemies as small as one pound. The diaper is three sizes smaller than a diaper for a newborn and significantly smaller than the diaper Emily had in the NICU. This means that parents and nurses may no longer have to fold larger diapers to ensure they fit.
I am thankful for advancements in medical products and devices to help improve the health and development of premature babies. Better fitting diapers will certainly help make life in the NICU less challenging for parents and medical professionals. It may also help these little miracles feel more comfortable and secure.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a press kit, including one sample Swaddlers P-3 Diaper from Pampers. This blog post is not a compensated post and all opinions are my own.