Tommy's guest blog, 17/01/2017, by James Farina
Having a premature baby can be stressful as your baby may be underdeveloped due to their early start. Babies born too soon are often quite small and may be very poorly at the start.
James Farina and his partner Lucy became preemie parents when their little girl was born in at 25 weeks, weighing just 1lbs 8oz (700g).
After spending three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), James and Lucy were able to bring their daughter home.
‘Just before she was discharged, the doctor talked about how important it was that we protect her from other people. Common germs that are harmless to us could potentially have an incredibly bad effect on our little ones while they're still vulnerable.’
James and Lucy had a think about how they could stop people from reaching into the pushchair or having contact with their daughter while she was at this vulnerable stage.
They came up with the idea of using badges to warn people that their baby was poorly and, after their first badge was such a success, BubbahBear was born.
‘We decided to create BubbahBear badges to make people think twice before reaching in to the pram. We've had amazing responses already and we've recently become supporters of Tommy’s to give something back to their incredible charity by donating a percentage of our profits.’
Whilst their daughter was in NICU, James and Lucy were given a Tommy’s booklet with information about premature babies.
‘We found this incredibly useful in helping us learn to understand our baby and all of the equipment in the hospital that was helping her. My partner and I also both downloaded the Tommy’s mobile phone app which was brilliant in tracking progress and keeping a diary. This helped us to focus on all of the little positives instead of thinking about how much longer we had to wait until she was to come home.’
BubbahBear have gone on to create three different badge designs and have plans to bring out more products this year to help premature babies and their parents.
‘Our mission is to keep vulnerable babies safe and to help their parents on their journeys.’
If you’re interested in getting your own Bubbahbear badge or hearing more about James and Lucy’s story, you can take a look at their website here.
If you want to download Tommy's prematurity app to help you keep a track of your baby’s development and when they hit those all important milestones, you can download it for free here.
If you or someone you love has recently had a premature baby, our information and advice on prematurity and raising your premature baby may be helpful or comforting. You can read all of our information on preterm birth and the time after birth here.
Get our free app for parents of premature babies. It is the first of its kind in the UK. 'My premature baby' is available on all devices (phones, tablets).
The following symptoms before 37 weeks of pregnancy could indicate premature labour.
Get our free app for parents of premature babies. It is the first of its kind in the UK. 'My Premature Baby' is available on all devices (phones, tablets).
Skin-to-skin contact with your premature baby is a wonderful way for you both to bond. It also provides health benefits.
You will play an important part in your premature baby's care, even while they are in the NICU.
Your premature baby's diet will be carefully balanced to suit their tiny digestive system while meeting the needs of their growing body.