In the United States, 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely and receive care in the NICU. More than 380,000 babies were born preterm in the U.S. last year, facing a high risk of health issues as they grow.
Milkful is honoring World Prematurity Day on November 17, 2017 with a Bar for Bar campaign. From November 13-22, for every Milkful bar purchased, a bar will be donated to the NICU to help mothers working to breastfeed their infants.
What does the NICU stand for?
NICU stands for a neonatal intensive care unit. It is an intensive care unit in a hospital that specializes in the care of ill or premature newborn infants.
When is an infant born prematurely?
A premature birth takes place more than three weeks before a baby is due. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks so premature infants are born anytime before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Most premature births occurs in the late preterm stage.
What is a low birthweight?
Low birthweight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
What are the signs of premature labor?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away.
Parents often feel helpless while their babies are receiving care in the NICU. One powerful way a mother can contribute to the health of her child is to provide breast milk. Breast milk contains important antibodies and nutrients needed for infants to gain weight and establish a healthy immune system.
Milkful is proud to help families during this scary time. Our bars encourage breast milk production so that milk will come in faster and more consistently during this time of stress. Read the stories of three women who used Milkful bars when their babies needed milk most.
Janice & Anna
“No one ever plans for a NICU baby. When Anna arrived at 2:55 a.m. she was fighting for her little life. The doctors immediately put a tube down her throat and suctioned out 33cc of meconium from her lungs and stomach. In order for Anna to be released from the NICU she needed a healthy diaper weight. My friend overnighted Milkful bars to me and my milk came in later that day. Thanks to Milkful bars I was able to breastfeed and Anna was able to come home with us quickly.” -Janice
Dina & Isla
“Isla was hospitalized at just 11 days old (her original due date) following a high fever. It was absolutely the scariest few days of our lives as we waited on test results to see if she had bacterial meningitis. Words can’t express how hard it was to see her in this condition. I was determined to successfully breastfeed her for as long as possible and was so scared that we would have issues during this time. I was diligent about nursing as often as possible and relied heavily on Milkful bars throughout my stay to keep my supply up! They were critical during those long days and nights in the hospital.” -Dina
Bryanna & Aria
“My daughter made her entrance into the world at 26 weeks. Because of intubation, I could not hold her until the 38th day of our stay in the NICU. Providing breast milk was the one thing that I could do to help my daughter grow. But with all of the emotions and stress, it was really hard to get my milk supply to stay consistent. I started eating Milkful bars and soon I was able to, to increase my milk supply and maintain a good production!” -Bryanna
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Folate and folic acid play a vital role in embryo development, healthy pregnancies, and infant survival rates. Up to 50% or more of neural tube defects could be prevented with proper folic acid supplementation prior to conception, reports The American Academy of Pediatrics. Read more about this important micronutrient for women of childbearing age and learn the recommended daily intake as well as foods that provide folate.