It was the night after her baby shower when Le’s water broke – six weeks before her due date.
Baby Amber was born premature, weighing just 5lbs 4 oz and suffering from jaundice. Le was able to hold her newborn daughter for only a minute before she was whisked to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Amber was initially placed in a phototherapy isolette and exposed to the special light used to break down the blood cells. But Amber didn’t sleep well lying exposed. Lack of sleep was causing her to lose weight, when what she needed as a preemie was to grow.
Southlake’s expert nurses had another solution.
Instead of the isolette, they used a bilirubin blanket—an innovative portable phototherapy device that wraps around the infant, allowing them to be swaddled, held, fed, and rocked while receiving their treatment. This makes important skin-to-skin contact possible during treatment, which is best practice for healthy development and bonding.
Thanks to donor support, Southlake’s NICU acquired their first bilirubin blanket two years ago.
The equipment had such positive results that two more bilirubin blankets were funded in 2018, now shared between the NICU, Postpartum and Paediatric departments to treat newborns in need.
Soon enough, Amber started to gain weight and her parents prepared to take her home for the first time. The first-time parents had been nervous about caring for their newborn on their own. But, thanks to the personalized attention and support from the staff at Southlake during their experience, they felt confident about everything from diaper changing to bathing, and are now thriving as a family at home.
Both Le and her husband view their experience at Southlake as a blessing in disguise, and are grateful to have had that kind of compassionate care during such a difficult time.
You can’t do this job if you’re not caring. This is the start of a brand new life, and the positive, nurturing environment is so important.Le
Learn more information on urgent needs for Southlake’s Maternal Child Program.