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Learning and developmental difficulties are often linked to neurological insults (cerebral haemorrhage, white matter injury, and cerebral palsy).  However, these difficulties have been found in premmies without significant neurosensory impairments and more recently, the theory of subtle brain injury linked to preterm birth is gaining acceptance.
Particular problems relate to executive functions. 

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For many years, NICU nurses have been using the evidence-based practice of giving premmies a sucrose solution before skin-punctures (heel sticks, IV insertions etc). The sweet solution is found to reduce pain responses in premature babies. A recent Cochrane Review, a meta-journal which pools the results from similar studies has reiterated that sucrose is helpful for lessening the pain of premmies following such procedures.

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Dummies (or pacifiers or soothers) calm babies down. This is helpful when mothers have tried everything else and cannot find the magic button to stop their baby crying. Dummies are used in Neonatal Intensive Care Units because it is important to help premmies remain calm in all kinds of circumstances. Another huge benefit of dummies is also emerging – they appear to protect babies against Sudden Infant Death, particularly when used at bedtime. However some people worry that dummies might interfere with breastfeeding in some way.

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Immunising Premmies
Babies catch infections more often than older children and adults, and they are more likely to have a severe dose of the sickness once infected. A recent Australian example is the rise in pertussis (whooping cough), which is horrible for adults but life- threatening for babies. At birth the external barriers to infection such as skin and the internal immune activities of the body are all immature. The immune system does not fully mature for several months and babies are at higher risk for a long time after delivery.

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Babies can sometimes be born small for gestational age. When this happens to a baby who has been born prematurely there is an extra hurdle for the baby in their recovery. A recent study of full-term babies and their mothers found that the mother’s vitamin D level in the first or second trimester was related to their baby’s weight at birth. If she was deficient in Vitamin D the baby was about 46 grams lighter at birth and were twice as likely to be growth restricted (in the lowest 10th weight percentile).

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  • Aimie

    support for premature children Paediatric Occupational Therapist "I found the work you are doing to support premature children and their families, so inspiring. From Read More
  • Andrea

    Sia born at 30 weeks Sia was born in her 30th week. The hospital did everything they could to stop her but she had a Read More
  • Asha & Maya's story

    Asha & Maya's story ReadyStepGrow "helped reduce my girl's separation anxiety and their need to be physically with me all the time, it increased Read More
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Tue Jun 27, 2017 @10:00 - 11:30AM
Tuesday Toddlers (Term 2 2017)
Tue Jul 18, 2017 @10:00 - 11:30AM
Pre-Kindy (Term 3 2017)
Tue Jul 18, 2017 @11:45 - 01:15PM
Tue Baby Prems (Term 3 2017)
Wed Jul 19, 2017 @10:00 - 11:30AM
Toddlers (Term 3 2017)
Wed Jul 19, 2017 @11:45 - 01:15PM
Tiny Premmies (Term 3 2017)

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