World Prematurity Day...are you 1 in 10?

This year we are delighted to be at the RIPE Market in Zabeel Park on Friday 17th November 2017 to celebrate World Prematurity Day.

Bringing our families together to celebrate their journeys and hold those families close to us whose journey had a tragic end. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Upon A Star...help us make our stars shine brighter

Our incredibly special project to bring memory boxes to families who suffer neonatal loss, stillbirth and miscarriage. Each box is white in colour, gender neutral with an elephant design on the front. The language of the box is English but will also be produced in Arabic when required. We need your help to crochet or sponsor the crochet of a cocoon for the baby which will be enclosed in each of our memory boxes.

Memory Box Contents

  1. Unspoken Words Notebook for parents 
  2. Private letter to the parents from Little Angels - Love through Loss Support Group
  3. Hand crocheted sleeping cocoon for the baby
  4. Linen drawstring bag for babies keepsakes.
  5. Grief consultation session with Lighthouse Arabia
  6. Information from Middle East Assistance for funeral arrangements
  7. Treasured Memories Inkless paper kit for hand and footprints
  8. Information to create hand and foot castings
  9. Barefoot Dubai Remembrance Photography
  10. Private Letter from Small and Mighty Babies
  11. Upon A Star candle

Collection Points - please contact each individual to arrange collection or sponsorship of your crochet pack which will be available from Sunday 4th June 2017.

Mira Oasis in Reem Community please call Kerry on 056 886 0700

Meydan Heights & JESS School please call Lala on 052 817 9235

Umm Suqeim please call Joanne on 050 656 8147

 

 

Just Look At Me Now...

Last year we started the Small and Mighty Photoshoot inspired by the work of a photographer from Canada. The reaction was incredible and this year we were delighted to work with Barefoot Dubai to create another set of incredible images.

Shot in Dubai Creek Park our families arrived with their Mighty Babies ready for a morning of photographs and fun. Showing the journey of a premature baby from receiving life support in NICU to now a strong and resilient Mighty Baby. With the love and care that Barefoot Dubai ensures go into every photograph myself and every family involved were as proud as can be with the final images. 

We look forward to welcoming more families at our next photoshoot later in the year

 

 

Small and Mighty Babies reviews the Dyson Air Purifier - Allergies (English)

A few months ago Small and Mighty Babies was invited to take part in a review of the Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier where some of our mums would live with the purifier for a few weeks to see if and how it could help home life. 

This purifier really is one of a kind. It removes 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns! (I had to look up microns, its a unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, used in many technological and scientific fields) In simple terms...its tinier than tiny!! It purifies all year round, has an automatic night mode, safe and easy to clean, oscillates (spins!) and has a remote control.

Whats not to love....especially if from a health point of view its life changing. I encourage you to watch the first of the several clips I will be sharing. 

 

 

 

Development Milestones...and a premature baby

When we were in NICU with George I always had a burning question....when will he come home. Its a question I was recommended not to ask or keep asking the neonatal consultants by my head, my heart..and my husband...he will come home when he is ready. We have all been there but the day does eventually come when the NICU doors open and you walk out with your Mighty Baby in your arms.

At this point I felt like I was finally a mother, it was me keeping our son alive and not a machine. Mighty George is growing up to be a wild but utterly fabulous little man. We have navigated all the fun things having a premature baby throws at you (not!) to the first teeth, weaning, toddler tantrums, "threenager" years and nursery so why do I still have this overwhelming feeling that there is something else that keeps making me cautious, another question I have to ask. I often read the multitude of premature blogs, websites and posts out there about how a mother can never quite get over her time in NICU and the long term implications it can cause to our wellbeing so maybe this is why when he struggles with a few things he "should" be doing or is "expected" to be doing at a particular point in his young life my stomach hits the floor like it did in those days in NICU. Is something not right. is something wrong. why this, why that is firing through my mind. Relief came when I was able to sit down with Kamal, Senior Occupational Therapist and owner of TherapyBox Australia to talk about development milestones, what are they and what "should" our little people really be doing and as parents, what if anything, can we do to support them. 

Come and join us on Tuesday 10th January at Pain Quotidien in Dubai Marina Mall from 9am to catch up with the Small and Mighty Mums and have an informal chat with Kamal herself. In the coming weeks I will be "test driving" some of her exercises with George and reporting back to you all. 

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!

A Wave of Light

Today, Saturday 15th October, we recognise World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

At Small and Mighty Babies we arranged for a special set of photographs to be taken with the help of Barefoot Dubai to especially remember those babies known to us within our community. We reflect on the loss and surround each family with our love and support. May they know that they are always cherished, always remembered.

 

 

 

Small and Mighty Babies Photoshoot, thank you Red

Red Methot, a photographer based in Quebec has touched a very special group of people here in Dubai. Red has two children who were both born premature and any parent of a premature baby knows this totally rocks your world, for both the good and the bad reasons. His experience inspired him to create a series of images of children, who were also born too soon, holding a photograph of themselves when they were on life support in NICU...and wow, did it get me thinking!

Inspired to say the least I wanted to try and re-create this in Dubai for many reasons. With the help, support and guidance from Jules at JewelSeddon Photography we have been able to turn this dream into a reality. I hope to highlight premature birth in the United Arab Emirates, to raise awareness of Small and Mighty Babies but mainly for our gorgeous children. I wanted to create an opportunity for our families to have an image that speaks so loud it brings tears to our eyes, its proud, its strong and it reminds us to always hold our heads high. No matter what struggles we face in our lives we know the battle we as families and our wonderful babies have fought.

I couldn't be prouder to share these with you x

Light a candle and support babies born too soon..

I love candles and my house is always full of burning lights and so whatever the occasion, I think a candle can offer so much love, hope and light. When George was in NICU I would light a candle every night for him, say a little prayer, have a little cry and wish him home soon and I am so pleased to have been able to create this candle with a Dubai based candle extraordinaire Mel Upham of Pure Candles. We have two fragrances available at the moment, Lime Basil & Mandarin and Lemongrass & Ginger.

Whether for yourself or a friend who is currently caring for a baby in a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, please help support Small and Mighty Babies and light a candle today for all babies born too soon.

AED120 per candle with 45 hours burning time.

World Prematurity Day 2015

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Meet Up/ Parking Area - Head to the new Spinneys on Palm Jumeirah, take the left fork as you drive onto the palm. Take first entrance into service lane and follow signs for parking. You will be parking under the Golden Mile ONE Building which is where the new Spinneys is.

Park in the orange area (section 4). Lift or escalators upstairs and walk through the exit doors by Cafe Nero...we will be there!

See you tomorrow x

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 meets on Monday 14th September

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

Date: Monday 14th September 2015

Time: 9.30am - 11.30am

Venue: Mini Monsters, Dnata Building, Sheikh Zayed Road

www.minimonsters.ae

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


Give blood on World Blood Donor Day

Mediclinic City Hospital will be supporting World Blood Donor Day on Thursday 11th June between 9am - 4pm. If you can spare some time..and some blood(!) please pop down and support this fantastic campaign, We all know how a blood transfusion (each and every one of them!!) changed our babies lives. JPH-H

Please see these guidelines from the DHA regarding who can make a blood donation




Feature Mum of the Month

This month I am thrilled to announce the start our feature mum articles. Each month I hope to share with you a mums story about her early delivery and her Mighty babies journey. 

This month I spoke with Sam Draper who gave birth to her daughter Willow at 25weeks plus 4 days. Read all about it here


A brave and brilliant woman... Marina Fogle

In August last year I heard the sad news that Marina Fogle, wife of English adventurer, author, broadcaster and all round great guy Ben Fogle, had lost their third child late into pregnancy. Marina has recently written about what happened, how she copes with the power of grief and how understanding grief has helped her recover. She talks about how being honest with her children over what happened became huge relief to her and I think in one way or another, we can all learn much from her and this article.

For me, this article was a reminder about how fortunate I have been. Marina had suffered an acute placental abruption. The same fate I was dealt on 9th May 2013. To those who were with me on that day and those looking down from the above, thank you for keeping me safe, and thank you for keeping Mighty George safe. I know how different my chapter could have been. JPH-H

Small and Mighty Babies at Bystro Restaurant & Pastry House

Our next Small and Mighty Babies meet up is planned for Thursday 29th January at Bystro Restaurant & Pastry House. We shall be meeting from 9am - 11am and everyone is welcome, we look forward to meeting you soon. www.bystrodubai.com JPH-H

 

City Tots announces the schedule for 2015

City Tots is a support group for parents with premature babies who have been admitted to Mediclinic City Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The group aims to support and educate parents during and after their NICU experience. A member of the Small and Mighty Babies team will attend the monthly meeting to provide any additional support but also to introduce parents to the wider Small and Mighty Babies group.

The meetings will be held in the ground floor seminar room at the Mediclinic City Hospital from 11.00am - 1.30pm on the following dates

2nd February 2015

2nd March 2015

6th April 2015

4th May 2015

1st June 2015

6th July 2015

3rd August 2015

7th September 2015

12th October 2015

2nd November 2015

7th December 2015

For more information and to confirm your participation please email MCH.Tots@mediclinic.ae

MOM wins James Dyson Award...

Inflatable Incubator designed to save babies in developing countries

The World Health Organization estimates that 75% of deaths among premature babies could be avoided if life-saving technology was more easily available across the world. Being from the UK and having George born prematurely in Dubai, I have seen the amount of equipment needed to run a successful neonatal care unit, something which most of us would just take for granted. However, hospitals in many countries simply cannot afford the life-saving equipment needed and thousands upon thousands of babies could be dying because of this shortage. 

The 2014 winner of the James Dyson Award, a programme designed to encourage young people to come up with world changing inventions and ideas, is setting out to reduce this number of unnecessary premature deaths with their inflatable incubator design. 

The incubator is low cost to produce, light to carry and easy to pack and use, and even runs on battery life in case the hospital has power shortages. Providing the same critical care as the usual $45,000 incubation system, the MOM costs only $400 to manufacture and get started. This is fantastic news for the health care systems in developing countries and mothers around the world. It is also great to hear that everyday more and more importance is being put on neonatal care.

Mighty Babies can’t speak for themselves so we need to make sure we are their voice and continue promoting the need for more neonatal technologies across the world! HW

To read more about MOM and the James Dyson Award please see

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/projects/mom/

Pop 'N' Grow... there, when you need them

Pop 'N' Grow is a UK Charity based in the Isle of Wight which provides special clothing for babies admitted into a Neonatal Unit. The clothing has been designed specifically for babies in special care units and these special baby-grows "make room" for the medical equipment caring for the babies. This charity was the brainchild of Paula Smith whose baby girl Amelia was moved into NICU following complications at birth and like all parents of NICU babies know, it is not always possible to dress your babies easily when they are still on life support, if at all impossible.

The clothing is unique and ordered in the UK but having spoken with Pop 'N' Grow they would be happy to ship to the UAE if a donation was made to the charity considering the shipping costs she must cover. Paula's efforts have given parents an option to be able to dress their baby, the most natural instinct for a mother, to cloth and protect.

On a final note, as a searched through the website of Pop 'N' Grow I found something that totally shocked me and as I read the page, I just began to cry. The patron of the charity is Joel Pott, guitarist and vocalist of the band Athlete. Joel wrote a song called 'Wires', a song I know but a song I hadn't ever realised had a deeper meaning. When his daughter was born prematurely, Joel wrote this song. If you are not familiar with this song, I suggest you search for it and Joel, thank you for such making such an incredible song,  I know it will mean so much to so many people. JPH-H

www.popngrow.co.uk