YOUR HEALTH: It’s almost like staying in the womb a bit longer

ORLANDO, Florida – One in ten babies in the United States will be born before 36 weeks and those born before 32 weeks may face serious health problems.

Children like lIttle Remi Jolliff, who came into the world at 24 weeks and five days.

That's three and a half months before she was due.

"She was coming out whether we were ready or not," recalled her mother Jessica.

Remi weighed just one pound, six ounces.

"Just complete devastation," said her father, Christopher.

AdventHealth in Orlando is now the first in the country to test an innovative system that in some ways simulates a mother's womb.

It's a high-tech isolette, called Babyleo.

"There's a little device that lays on the baby's skin," explained AdventHealth Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse manager Michael O'Brien.  He's cared for hundreds of preemies over 25 years.

"It's like a thermometer.  A little sticker goes over it keeping it on the baby's skin and it goes into the isolette."

That way a computer system constantly monitors the baby's temperature, keeping him at 98.6 degrees by automatically turning on and off warmers in the crib.

The Babyleo also gently mists sterile water to adjust the humidity.

"Remember the premature baby was floating in amniotic fluid inside the mom and the skin is not ready to be out in the dry, dry air," said O'Brien.

NEW TECHNOLOGY:   The Babyleo has a variety of offerings to ensure newborns are healthy and in the arms of their parents as quickly as possible. Such offerings include thermoregulation during open, closed and transitional care, weaning mode to help automate weaning of patients outside of the incubator, lowered sound and light levels resembling the womb, height adjustments and knee pockets as well as "kangaroo mode" to support parent-baby bonding.

The Jolliffs take comfort knowing Remi is getting specialized care.   It takes away some of the trauma from her early delivery.

"Think of it as they just couldn't wait to meet you," said Jessica.   "That's what we tell ourselves."

"She couldn't wait," added Christopher.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

 

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