The three hats of me..

I was delighted to welcome Marissa from Little Sybarites into my home last month with Jules from Jewel Seddon Photography. We have talked about all things Small and Mighty, cried about all things Small and Mighty but most of all smiled. The chance our group has to help families is phenomenal and I praise each and every family in our group for helping me grow our network of support.

Thank you Marissa for your loving words, Jules for your stunning photography and also agreeing with me...photos are not my forte!

Small and Mighty Babies meets on Tuesday 3rd November

Looking forward to the Small and Mighty Babies meet up planned for this Tuesday, looking forward to seeing you there!

Date: Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Time: 9.30am - 11.30am

Venue: Carluccios, The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence

http://www.carluccios.com/restaurants/united-arab-emirates

Small and Mighty Babies makes The National newspaper

A recent article in The National newspaper about baby Tala Othman who amazed her parents and doctors when she was born 11 weeks early, at 1.45 kilograms, encased in her amniotic sac.

Her Egyptian mother, Eman Ahmed, panicked when she saw her newborn still firmly curled in a foetal position in the sac – a bag of clear, pale fluid inside the womb where the unborn baby develops and grows and Ms Ahmed thought her daughter had not survived the birth.

When the article was published, baby Tala was still receiving care at the Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital in Ajman and I contacted the National to ask them to share the details of Small and Mighty Babies with the family in case they needed any support.  We were thrilled when the newspaper wanted to publish an article about our group and I hope you enjoy reading it. JPH-H


Small and Mighty Babies makes The National

From the day George arrived early into this world I have had a mountain of support around me. I never had any choice but to be strong, it was my only option. But at times, I just felt broken. I felt guilty, I felt numb and I felt empty. This support from family, friends and sometimes strangers encouraged me to turn these feelings into positive experiences and create Small and Mighty Babies. 

As I continue to work with parents to grow and build Small and Mighty Babies I have been introduced to some wonderful people who have in turn opened doors for me. Through my work with Sassy Mama I was introduced to Mitya Underwood at The National newspaper who I met to talk about all things Small and Mighty. JPH-H

To read the article

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/family/the-fast-evolving-world-of-motherhood-in-the-uae

 

Small and Mighty Babies September Meet Up

It was so wonderful to meet up last week with parents and the Mighty Babies. We sat and talked like we had all known each other for years. We talked about the struggles some of the Mighty Babies are facing but also some of the hurdles they have overcome. For me, it was lovely to hear the feedback on Small and Mighty Babies but also to learn of additional contacts for me to share, ideas for our future projects but more so to remind me why I started this journey. I feel I have managed to turn one of the saddest periods of my life into the most special, that privilege (though it didn't feel it at the time!) of having my baby come early has taught me so much and opened doors for me that I never knew existed. Thank you George, and thank you everyone. JPH-H 

Small and Mighty is one Sassy Mama

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Kaya Scott from Sassy Mama and was thrilled when she asked me to feature on the website as a "that mama". I was quite nervous about having my photograph taken for the website but was put at ease by their lovely photographer Claire Barlow and am so pleased with the finished result. The Sassy Mama team have been so supportive of Small and Mighty Babies and I can't wait to get back to Dubai in September to get working on great things to come. JPH-H

To read the article please see http://sassymamadubai.com/that-mama-joanne-hanson/

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City Tots meeting at Mediclinic City Hospital

The second City Tots Preemie Support Group meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday 15th July and will be joined by Minettte Prinslloo, City Hospital dietician, who will be available to answer all your infant feeding questions.

City Tots is a support group based at City Hospital for parents of premature babies who have been admitted to City Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The morning meeting is 11:30 – 13:00 and evening 18:00 – 20:00.

Sadly I cannot be there tomorrow as I am travelling but for all those who attend I hope you have a great session.  JPH-H

The magic in the music...

I remember the first time I heard music playing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at City Hospital. I remember it like it was yesterday. The exact spot I was standing when I heard this ethereal sound, almost haunting and as my brain tried to catch up with this music I felt the tears beginning to fall down my face. Why this music had such an effect on me I cannot tell you but to this day, that moment is still so fresh in my mind.

These ethereal sounds were the words and sounds of Enya, an Irish singer, instrumentalist and songwriter and for those of you who are not familiar with her work I do recommend a search on her music. I turned to one of the other mothers in the unit who had watched my reaction and she assured me she had a similar reaction. I said to her that I couldn't imagine ever being able to listen to this music ever again without becoming so emotional, but, how wrong was I! By the second week I was more familiar with the music and began to feel myself relaxing and almost reflecting on what was happening to me and family. I spoke to the manager of the unit and she explained to me that research has shown the benefits of playing music to babies and how it can soothe the babies and improve their sleeping and eating patterns. 

When George came home from hospital I was aware he was moving from a noisy and light filled environment to a home where alarms are not sounding and lights are not bright. I decided to ignore the lump in my throat and I purchased her album, The Very Best of Enya. Whenever he would not settle or sleep I would play her album to him and to this day, when I am struggling, I still do.

At 4.30am this morning as I struggled to get George to settle in a new time zone I switched on my iPad in his nursey and started to play Enya. George lay back down in his crib, he held his cat and blanket and drifted off to sleep. Whether it was exhaustion or Enya I was thankful and as I drifted off to sleep I thought of all the Mighty Babies out there today settling to those similar and enchanting sounds. JPH-H

 

This interesting article supports this practice and I cannot commend Mediclinic City Hospital enough for implementing this practice in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/music-therapy-preemies-lullabies_n_3085154.html

 

City Tots first meeting at Mediclinic City Hospital

On Tuesday we attended the first session of City Tots at City Hospital.

It was so nice catching up with the nurses from the NICU unit and also for them to see the Mighty Babies who they looked after and cared for. The last time they had seen the babies was during our discharge from the unit, now it was chasing them as they crawled around the seminar room into chairs and tables!

The core of the City Tots group is to support the parents with babies currently in the NICU unit at the hospital. Meeting the parents who came to the session was a wonderful and also emotional experience for us. Being able to empathise with them and answer their questions are some are the reasons to why Small and Mighty became my calling. I hope the time we spent with these parents has given them some comfort, reassurance and strength to continue their journey.

For those parents we met, please get in touch with smallandmightybabies@gmail.com if you need anything and we can't wait to hear about your mighty's progress. JPH-H

Sassy Mama comes to Dubai...

Sassy Mama has recently launched in Dubai and I totally agree that it is the "go-to guide for modern mothers". Already in Hong Kong and Singapore, this new guide for Dubai based families is packed with useful tips, ideas, events, advice, contacts...you name it, these Mamas have it covered.

I was thrilled when Sassy Mama asked me to write a few words and introduce Small and Mighty Babies to them. It is through media like Sassy Mama that Small and Mighty Babies can reach a larger audience and I feel very honoured to have them as our supporters. JPH-H

Check out http://sassymamadubai.com/sassy-mama-supports-small-and-mighty/