Zero to Three

Jada, Photo Courtesy Alter Family

Photo credit: Alter Family

Hand to Hold recommends the resources created by Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization that informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Founded in 1977 by top experts in child development, their mission is to ensure that all infants and babies have a strong start in life.  They do this by providing the knowledge and tools to parents, health care professional and lawmakers needed to support early development.

Since their start, this organization has evolved into one that plays a critical leadership role in promoting understanding around key issues affecting young children and their families.  These issues include childcare, infant mental health, early language and literacy development, early intervention and the impact of culture on early childhood development.

Zero to Three promotes a multidisciplinary approach to child development. Their emphasis is on bringing together the perspectives of many fields and specialists and then rooting those perspectives in robust research.  These studies show that all domains of development—social, emotional, intellectual, language and physical—are interdependent and work together to promote a child’s overall health and well-being in the context of his family and culture.

All of their work is:

  • Grounded in research and experience
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Collaborative
  • Accessible
  • Culturally responsive
  • Clinically informed

Zero to ThreeZero to Three offers a wide variety of resources, from an online bookstore and catalog to online references.  Their popular 12-series podcast, Little Kids, Big Questions,  addresses some of the most common (and challenging) issues facing parents of babies and toddlers, such as: helping a baby learn to sleep through the night, dealing with a picky eater, and learning to set limits on children’s behavior.

Their resources are organized by topic, including:

  • behavior and development, which covers topics such as play, brain development, early language, school readiness, grandparents, mental health assessment and treatment, sleep, temperament and more.
  • maltreatment, which describes the impact of trauma and ways to keep children safe.
  • early care and education, which details how to find quality care from a child care center or other caring adults. This section also offers a free web-based, interactive learning tool designed to help parents and caregivers support their young children’s early learning. Age-based information covers the four key skills—language and literacy skills, thinking skills, self-confidence and self-control that are helpful for school success.
  • public policy, shows a variety of ways to advocate on behalf of initiatives supporting the care, development and education of young children.

Here’s an alternate link to the video about Zero to Three.

Connect with  Zero to Three online or through their Facebook page to stay informed about the many helpful resources and initiatives they are working on to benefit our nation’s youngest children.

Postpartum Progress

Postpartum ProgressMothers who have had a difficult pregnancy, traumatic birth, a baby in the NICU or a loss experience know firsthand the complex “roller coaster” of emotions, anxiety, stress, trauma and grief. While these are natural response to extraordinary circumstances, it is all too common for some mothers to suffer from lingering mental health issues postpartum. As May is “Maternal Mental Health” month, we are pleased to feature nonprofit support organization Postpartum Progress® that is doing so much to raise awareness of postpartum mental health and the support that is available to all mothers.

Postpartum Progress® is the world’s most widely-read blog on postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth, including:

  • postpartum anxiety,
  • postpartum OCD,
  • depression during pregnancy (antenatal depression),
  • post-adoption depression,
  • postpartum PTSD,
  • depression after miscarriage or perinatal loss and
  • postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum Progress® focuses on positive messages of empowerment and recovery, because they believe PPD and other disorders are temporary and treatable with professional help.

Katherine Stone

Katherine Stone

Postpartum Progress® was founded in 2004 by Katherine Stone after a devastating bout of postpartum depression following the birth of her first child. Katherine Stone is now a nationally-recognized advocate for woman and her award-winning blog consistently ranks as one of the top sites for information and support for woman on the subjects of depression and pregnancy/childbirth. The site offers original articles written by Katherine Stone and her expert contributors, guidance on the symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after childbirth, how to get help, support from other mothers and daily hope and inspiration for mothers who are trying to navigate through the daily challenges of postpartum depression and anxiety.

Hand to Hold asked Katherine Stone what she felt was the importance of highlighting maternal mental health:

She shares, “I’m so grateful people are recognizing the importance of the emotional health of new mothers in May via Maternal Mental Health Month. I’m hoping it really catches on, because a mom’s mental health is crucial for the health and future success of her new family. The more we talk about this, the more new mother’s will know if they need help and where to get it.”

On Mobile, view her video “One Thing You Should Know About Post Partum Depression

Sibling Support Project

Sibshop_LogoHand to Hold believes that the birth of a premature baby or a baby with special health care needs affects the lives of all family members. Like parents, siblings need support, encouragement and information to navigate through some of life’s most challenging circumstances. In celebration of National Sibling Day we’re featuring the Sibling Support Project and the incredible work they do!

The Seattle-based Sibling Support Project is dedicated to giving a voice to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of siblings with special healthcare and developmental needs. The mission of  the Sibling Support Project is to provide peer support as well as information. Their goal is to give opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs to talk about their relationship with their sibling in a supportive environment and to increase parents’ and providers’ understanding of sibling issues.

They do this by…

  • training local service providers on how to create community-based peer support programs for young siblings,
  • hosting workshops, social network sites, and websites for young and adult siblings, and
  • increasing parents’ and providers’ awareness of siblings’ unique, lifelong, and ever-changing concerns through workshops and online and published materials.

Their most successful program is called SibShops. Created by Don Meyer, the SibShop curriculum can be used by any agency that serves families of children with special needs. Providers can be trained to host their own SibShop to support the families in their community. SibShops are best described as “special events” that are facilitated by a team of service providers (such as social workers, special education teachers and professors, psychologists, nurses, and families) and adult siblings of people with special needs. By recognizing the importance of the sibling relationship, SibShops celebrate the unique bond, both rewarding and challenging, that siblings in these families share.

♥ Read What Siblings Would Like Parents and Service Providers to Know and watch this video courtesy of Sibling Support Project and The Arc of King County in Seattle.

 

Laura Romero, Family Support Navigator and Sibling Support Specialist for Hand to Hold, is a certified SibShop facilitor and a strong supporter of the program.

“SibShops utilize games and active play to create a safe environment where siblings of children with special needs can come together to see that they are not alone in what they are experiencing – the joys and challenges – with their brothers and sisters.”

Laura notes that while SibShops are not meant to be counseling sessions, the role of the experienced staff is to recognize if a sibling is in need of more specialized help and support parents as they navigate this special and unique relationship.

“Often times, siblings are afraid to tell their parents what they are feeling because they don’t want to upset them or be a burden. Having a sibling with special needs takes a lot of energy and time from the parents and often the other siblings feel left behind. SibShops gives the kids a safe place to express themselves.”

The relationship between siblings is often the longest, most important relationship a child will have and should be recognized and nurtured. When one of the siblings has special needs, it can change the dynamic of that relationship in many ways. Laura strongly supports SibShops.

“As a member of Hand to Hold and a parent of a child with special needs, I understand the support that parents need to deal with the family that they are raising. However, the same is true for siblings. SibShops acknowledges these brothers and sisters and not only allows them to talk about the challenges of having a sibling with special needs, but also to celebrate the wonderful, positive things that come with it as well.” Read Laura’s story: For the Love of Cameron

 

 Find out more about what Hand to Hold is doing to provide support for siblings, including hosting special activities like Sibling Sundaes in the NICU.

For more information on the Sibling Support Project, to join one of their many online networking communities, to see if there is a SibShop near you or for information on how to start a SibShop in your own city, please visit www.siblingsupport.org. The Sibling Project is a program of Seattle-based Kindering Center, a nonprofit neurodevelopmental clinic that provides comprehensive services, crucial therapies, special education, and counseling for over 2,000 infants and children with special needs each year.

Neotech

Neotech EmployeesNeotech is a leading manufacturer of neonatal, pediatric and respiratory products. Founded in 1986 by a physician and two biomedical engineers, Neotech began with the distribution of one product – a meconium aspirator. They quickly expanded their offerings and now have an extensive catalog of products not only for use in hospitals, but also for use at home. All of their products are latex, phthalate/DEHP and BPA free. They are also the first company to use NeoBondTM Hydrocolloid as the adhesive on all of their neonatal products, which is much gentler on a baby’s skin.

Neotech’s most popular product is called the “Little Sucker,” an oral-nasal suctioning device used for gentle suctioning. Marty Barnes, mother to Casey who was born at 37 weeks due to a uterine rupture that resulted in several physical and medical complications, says, “We would be LOST without the Little Sucker.  It is so much softer than any other suction tool available.”

Casey's First Grade Photo

Photo credit: Barnes Family

And she would know – among the many challenges they face with Casey’s conditions, Casey is missing many of her natural reflexes and she is unable to suck, swallow, gag or blink. Without the ability to swallow, Casey’s air way is at constant risk. Suction equipment is needed to remove secretions, and anything else in her mouth/throat, in order for her to breath.  “The Little Sucker is significantly softer than any other product therefore we are not harming our daughter’s airway by using it frequently. We have tried other products that cause bleeding and sores. Bleeding creates additional complications with aspirations. The Neotech products have enabled us to care for our daughter with fewer hospital visits.” Read more about Casey’s story.

It is stories like Casey’s that motivates Neotech to continue to strive for complete customer satisfaction. Neotech does not make products to make money; they make products that are truly going to make a difference in the lives of the families who use them. Judy McCrary, Home Healthcare Specialist at Neotech and director of the new Home Health Division, states, “We want to help the parents, let them know they have a voice and that there isn’t anything we won’t do to help improve how they care for their children. Neotech solely makes products to care for premature babies in the NICU and, now, at home as well.”

Neotech - 25 Years Making a Difference LogoIn 2011, Neotech launched their Home Health Division, which allows parents to obtain the products they need to care for their children once they are released from the NICU. Because of the Home Health Division, these products can now be covered by insurance. Ms. McCrary encourages parents to go to the Neotech websites and request free samples of their products and a catalog. “Our products are created and designed directly from the feedback we get from the nurses, parents and respiratory therapists who use them, so we take great pride in the quality and usability of our products. So much so that we encourage you to request free samples until you find the right products for you and your child.”

Neotech’s products are made in the USA, are offered in all 50 states and in about 50 foreign countries. To learn more about Neotech, or to request samples of their products, please visit www.neotechhomehealth.com or www.neotechproducts.com or follow them on Facebook.

Enjoy this video about Neotech!

Busy Breathers LLC

Michelle Staley & her son, photo courtesy Busy Breathers LLC

Michelle Staley & her son, photo courtesy Busy Breathers LLC

The Busy Breather Oxygen Carrying Backpack provides a convenient and smart way for parents with children who are on oxygen to carry all of their supplies in one easy, organized system.  The Busy Breather Backpack takes the frustration out of packing multiple bags for bottles, wallets, keys, diapers, and life-depending oxygen by consolidating everything into one bag.  And because it is a backpack, it allows you to be hands-free for your baby.

Michelle Staley, founder and CEO of Busy Breathers, states, “With necessity being the mother of invention, I used my own experience to come up with the solution that millions of oxygen-users are looking for every year: a convenient and attractive solution to carrying the very thing upon which they depend on to stay alive: oxygen.”

Michelle founded Busy Breathers in 2006 following the premature birth of her son.  After spending four months in the NICU, her son was released from the hospital but would require oxygen 24 hours a day the following two years.  Being a busy mother on-the-go, Michelle used her degree in fashion design to create a more sensible and organized way to get around with all the supplies and equipment she needed to carry for herself and her son.

Busy Breather Video on Vimeo.

Busy Breathers LogoMichelle Staley and her Baby Breathers products have received local and national recognition.  Michelle was awarded a grant from Huggies® Brand diapers through the new Huggies® Mom Inspired™ Grant Program and was recognized by Contemporary Pediatrics Magazine as Best New Tech Product.  Michelle has been featured on several radio and television stations as well as websites such as Healthy Living at Home, CafeYak.com and BestMomProducts.com.

The Busy Breathers Backpack is offered at over 70 Walgreens in Denver, Colorado and available to everyone online at www.walgreens.com and www.drugstore.com.  Visit the official website at www.busybreathersllc.com and connect with them on Facebook to learn more and to search the many products now offered, in different styles, to accommodate the different needs of oxygen users, from infants to adults.

GastroKids

GastroKidsGastroKids provides easy to understand information about the treatment and management of pediatric digestive conditions for children and parents. They have a wealth of information in multiple languages (English, Spanish and French) to help parents and teens navigate how specific conditions are diagnosed, treated and managed for the short- or long-term. They have downloadable guides, videos, podcasts and pre-screened external links. Patients can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to their pediatric digestive disorders A-Z Glossary, GastroKids has collected in-depth information on the following most common conditions:

  • Pediatric Celiac Disease, a serious condition caused by a permanent intolerance for gluten–a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
    Daddy feeding in NICU by Marvin's Dad

    ©Flickr/Marvins_Dad

  • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an inflammatory condition in which the wall of the esophagus becomes filled with large numbers of white blood cells causing symptoms similar to GERD.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) – Reflux or spitting up is very common in young children. It becomes GERD when reflux causes troublesome symptoms such as weight loss, bleeding, respiratory problems or esophagitis.
  • The Nutrition and Obesity section gives information about healthy eating and fitness.

GastroKids is patient outreach and education effort of NASPGHAN – the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition – an organization of more than 1,400 pediatric gastroenterologists, predominantly in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and 8 provinces in Canada.

Wrap Buddies

by Kathryn Whitaker, PreemieBabies101 Lead Blogger

Tommy Strader with Luke

Photo credit: Whitaker Family

In 2010, when our son was fitted for a helmet to correct his plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, we were thrilled to learn of a non-profit, located in Dallas, that wrapped orthotic helmets for free.  Each month 360 Wraps, a for-profit business, closes their shop and opens it to parents and kids, like our son, to wrap about 15 helmets.  For us, the atmostphere was festive, welcoming and understanding as we made connections with other parents facing a similar situation.

Tommy Strader wrapping a helmet

Photo credit: Whitaker Family

However, as the owner, Tommy Strader (who still personally wraps every helmet!) started working on the first helmet, he began to tell us the story of how Wrap Buddies was born.  It was his witness and his easy-going candor that left the room speechless, sprinkled with bits of laughter.

In 2009, a father contacted 360 Wraps and asked if they would wrap his son’s helmet. Tommy had never heard of plagiocephaly, but decided it couldn’t be much different than wrapping a motorcycle helmet.  He typically charges $300-$1,000, but when he learned of the out-of-pocket cost to purchase the orthosis, sometimes as high as $4,000, he gifted the helmet to this father and his son.  News spread like wildfire and the shop started getting numerous calls a day.

Wrap BuddiesThrough some trial and error, the shop implemented a system, set up a website and established an official non-profit, Wrap Buddies.  They’ve wrapped over 300 helmets, to date.  More than 42 shops in 23 states offer helmet wraps for free or discounted costs because of Tommy and 360 Wraps.  His outreach has expanded beyond just helmets, as they’ve wrapped prosthetic limb and back orthoses, as well.

“I like to help out the underdog, as I feel in many ways I have been the underdog, and have overcome many obstacles to get to where I am and feel it necessary to pay it forward,” says Tommy. Read his full story.

Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation

Interviewed by Erika Goyer, Hand to Hold’s Family Support Navigator

Making the decision to tube feed is never an easy one. Tube feeding is frequently associated with gravely ill adults, not as a way to help children get the nutrition and hydration they need to be able to grow, thrive, and develop. And tube feeding can be a scary prospect for parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to moms Traci Nagy and Laura Wagner.

Never Underestimate the Power of Parents

Harmony getting a bolus feeding, Courtesy of FTAF

Harmony getting a bolus feeding, Photo Credit: Wagner Family/FTAF

Traci Nagy’s son, Lucas, received his first feeding tube in August 2008 at two months of age. She wasn’t satisfied with the resources available to new parents on tube feeding and the general lack of awareness among the general public of the benefit tube feeding can have to medically complex children like her son. In June 2010, Traci launched the “Let’s Get a Tube Fed Child on Sesame Street!” campaign on Facebook. In October 2010, she galvanized an effort to create Feeding Tube Awareness Week which resulted in creating the organization, website and Facebook support page.

Laura Wagner’s daughter, Harmony, has had a feeding tube since she was born in June 2009. Laura has been an advocate for creating awareness through her blog and her group on Babycenter.com, Special Needs and Medically Complex Kiddos. She pushed to make the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation a non-profit organization.

A Movement is Born

Feeding Tube Awareness was founded in 2010 as a means of supporting parents of tube fed children and raising positive awareness of tube feeding as a life-saving medical intervention. Tens of thousands of infants and children are able to live, grow and thrive because of tube feeding.   The organization is dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical information needed for day-to-day life with a tube-fed child. In addition, FTA strives to raise positive awareness of tube feeding as a life-saving medical intervention, so that children who are tube fed enjoy increased acceptance in society and parents have greater support in their care. Traci and Laura want tube feeding families to know that they are not alone, even though they can sometimes feel like they are.

I Love a Tubie

The group’s logo “I heart a tubie” sums it up nicely. It is a symbol of embracement and empowerment for families faced with a child whose medical conditions require tube feeding.

Feeding Tube Awareness Week is the second week in February each year! 

To get I Love a Tubie apparel and find out more about Feeding Tube Awareness Week visit the “Raising Awareness” page.

The Mission of the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation

  • “Provide medical type information in language that sleep-deprived parents can understand. That’s why we also have how-to videos made by parents
    G-tube, Photo courtesy of FTAF

    G-tube, Photo credit: FTAF

  • Make tube feeding feel less scary and overwhelming. I have seen parents go through great lengths (often at the expense of their child’s health) to avoid tube feeding. Children need enough calories and hydration to live, grow and thrive. If they are unable to do it on their own, a feeding tube can help make sure they are getting what they need during critical stages of development. Children and parents quickly adapt to tube feeding and it becomes second nature just like everything else.
  • Change public perception of feeding tubes as being for the elderly at end-of-life. Public perceptions do not match the reality so many tube feeding families have. Tube fed children often don’t look sick. Children can reach their potential because they have the nutrition they need. Tube feeding can mean life is possible.
  • Show parents they aren’t alone. It is pretty easy to feel alone when you have never heard of tube feeding a child or met anyone with experience. But, there are hundreds of thousands of children who are, or have recently been, tube-fed in US alone. There are more than 5,400 parents, caregivers and supporters on the FTA facebook page and growing.”

If You are Considering a Feeding Tube

If you are faced with the decision to tube feed, here are some questions to consider:

  • Is my child safely able to eat and drink enough to grow and develop appropriately?
  • Will my child be able to catch up on necessary weight gain on his own?
  • Is my child using too much energy to eat and drink?
  • Does my child have a medical condition that will make it more difficult for her to maintain a healthy weight?

Join the Cause

Visit their website www.feedingtubeawareness.org or contact them through their contact page.

Feeding Tube Awareness’ facebook group offers real-time support and knowledge sharing among thousands of parents and supporters.

You will find a wealth of information, resources, and inspiring stories.

Hand to Hold especially loves the information page created to educate friends and family about feeding tubes and how they can support the families who use them!

photo courtesy FTAF

Photo credit: FTAF

Let’s Spread the Tubie Love!

Nurtured by Design

 

Yamile Jackson and sonYamile’s Story

In 2001, Yamile Jackson, PhD, developed severe pre-eclampsia. In order to save her life and her son’s – Zachary had to be delivered prematurely, weighing less than two pounds. Three weeks after his birth, while he was still in the NICU, Tropical Storm Allison flooded Houston and shut-down all power to his hospital including his life-support equipment. His parents and the NICU staff kept him alive “by hand” for 9 hours until he was safely evacuated. Yamile held him in kangaroo care while her husband Larry and nurses took turns “bagging” him. Eventually doctors found hospitals where they could safely evacuate the 79 babies in the NICU.

An Aha! Moment

Yamile and her son in kangaroo careDuring this traumatic experience, Yamile prayed for the opportunity to help babies on Zachary’s behalf. Every day for at least 10 hours she was at the hospital personally providing proper intervention strategies, individualized care, and therapeutic touch for her fragile baby. The nurses taught her that her presence was invaluable. When she was not kangarooing she used her hands to provide effective neonatal developmental care practices in comforting, nurturing and healing her convalescent baby. She promised Zachary that his pain and struggle to survive were not going to be in vain. She knew she would use her talents and experience to make the NICU stay more comfortable for other babies.

 A Parent’s Healing Touch

NICU baby held by a ZakyWhile the nurses had to care for multiple babies at the same time, Yamile gave her undivided attention to Zachary. However, at the end of each day the agony of leaving her son was too difficult to bear. She kept asking herself, “How can I help Zachary when I am not here?” and wished she could leave her scent and loving touch so her baby would not feel alone or abandoned. Using her background and PhD in ergonomic and human factors engineering, she created two ergonomic hands, Zakys, to simulate her and Larry’s hands. These arms continued giving “undivided attention” to Zachary until his parents returned in the morning. Upon Zachary’s departure from the hospital after 155 days in the NICU, the nurses requested that she make the Zakys to help all the babies in the NICU. Thus, her company was born.

Zachary’s story not only inspires everyone at Nurtured by Design, the company she founded, but his story of survival has also been featured in international media, articles, documentaries, and even the made-for-TV movie 14:Hours which aired on TNT.

Helping Parents Provide Kangaroo Care More Comfortably

Mom wearing a Kangaroo ZakYamile “kangarooed” Zachary for 6-7 hours each day in the NICU and is a strong advocate of Kangaroo Care. She is a certified Kangaroo Care Professional and a facilitator of the Certification Course provided by the US Institute for Kangaroo Care. As with her creation of the Zaky, she designed the Kangaroo Zak™ with the sole objective of facilitating hands-free, safe, prolonged, and effective kangaroo care sessions in the hospital and later on at home. The Kangaroo Zak™ consists of soft, breathable, stretchy and strapless top that wraps around the torso of a parent and closes on the side with an adjustable zipper to hold a baby in the correct position. The ergonomic device accommodates medical connections, helps infants maintain their temperature, and gives parents a way to hold their child easier so kangaroo sessions can last longer.

A Small Business with Big Impact

Nurtured by DesignInspired  by the premature birth of her son, Yamile founded her firm Nurtured by Design which manufacturers Zakys and Kangaroo Zaks™  to raise the standard of developmental care that hospitals and parents can provide to children in their care.  Yamile explains, “Babies only grow, heal, and develop the brain when they are in deep sleep. We are successful in providing an ergonomic environment that promotes sleep, effective parental intervention, and help the staff minimize interruptions, disruptions, and unscheduled nursing interventions.”  The results of an independent clinical research suggest that The Zakys significantly improve self-regulation and significantly decrease apnea and bradycardia of prematurity, thus improving neurological development. And, many fellow parents can identify with the connections and bonding that occurs between parent and child during skin-to-skin contact or Kangaroo care. We look forward to hearing more about innovations from Nurtured by Design!

It’s a Preemie Thing

Julie Howard with her son Spencer

Photo credit: Howard Family

by Kelli Kelley, mother of two preemies & founder/executive director of Hand to Hold

Julie Howard, preemie mom and founder of “It’s A Preemie Thing” is definitely not what I envisioned when I thought of an officer in the US Army.  Maybe her beautiful blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and infectious smile disarmed enemies?  Or maybe her amazing sense of humor had them rolling on the ground begging for mercy?  I really don’t know, but regardless she deserves our gratitude for her service to our country.  And as parents of preemies, we also owe her for bringing a little laughter into the NICU – a place typically void of humor.

How She Got Started

It's a Preemie Thing LogoIt’s a Preemie Thing launched on Labor Day, 2010 when Julie’s son, Spencer, was only 9 months old, and she was serving as a full-time Army Officer. A fellow preemie mom asked Julie to help her come up with a funny saying to put on the onesie her daughter would wear home after a long NICU stay. The precious baby would be leaving the hospital with a feeding tube, oxygen and several monitors.  Julie’s suggestion, “O2…it’s not just for old people,”  helped her friend embrace the needed equipment and celebrate their family’s major accomplishment – NICU graduation! Her business resulted from this a-ha moment when she realized it filled “the need for some humor in our lives.”

Not only does It’s a Preemie Thing sell fun onesies/t-shirts and scrubs, they also connect parents with organizations like Hand to Hold.  “Nobody is in this alone, we just have to make sure they know that,” said Julie.

I'm Older Than I Look - preemie onesie by It's a Preemie Thing

Photo Courtesy: It’s a Preemie Thing / ©Keri Meyers Photography

Her Inspiration

Julie’s son was born at 29 weeks, 11 weeks early. At 10 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare brain malformation, Rhombencephalosynapsis (RS), and she resigned her commission to stay at home full time. And yes, you may see Spencer, as well as the entire University of Washington RS research team sporting shirts that say “Can you Rhombencephalosynapsis?” on the front and “Didn’t think so” on the back!

For the Love of Preemies Giveaway

On Valentine’s day this year, It’s A Preemie Thing will launch their 2nd Annual “For the Love of Preemies” giveaway, open only to families with preemies!  There are amazing gifts from some fantastic vendors, and photographers across the nation will donate their time and talent to ensure preemie families can have professional pictures made, since sometimes the large medical bills get in the way.

Name the Next Tshirt!

Have a cute slogan you would like It’s a Preemie Thing to consider? You could win prizes and help Hand to Hold earn funding fromonesie/ t-shirt sales. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Get in Touch

You can reach Julie Howard at 206-931-9171, online at www.itsapreemiething.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

Site last updated June 19, 2017 @ 11:09 pm