All parents know that choosing the right diaper size is important when caring for a newborn, especially babies born prematurely. But did you know that diaper style could also have an impact on an infant's health? Preterm babies face a number of complications that can be made worse by the type of diaper NICU nurses use. That's why Pampers created this new diaper to help preterm babies with delicate skin.
Pampers introduced a first-of-its-kind flat diaper last week as an alternative diapering solution for preterm newborns who can't wear traditional diapers, according to Parents. Pampers created the fragrance-free diaper without elastic or tape, and designed the product to lay flat under the little one. The material and functions of the Pampers NICU Flat Diaper will help increase skin exposure for treatments, as well as aid open-air healing for conditions such as jaundice or severe skin breakdown, Parents reported.
Pampers Nurse Specialist Amy Wiford, who cared for preterm babies as a NICU nurse for 10 years, said in a news release,
The Pampers NICU Flat Diaper is filling an unmet need in the clinical space that can allow for greater access to treatments for baby, protection of delicate skin, and minimal disturbances to baby in those critical first 72 hours of life.
But the introduction of the Pampers NICU Flat Diaper has another special purpose: To raise awareness for World Prematurity Day, which happens on Friday, as well as Prematurity Awareness Month during November. According to BusinessWire, the diaper brand has partnered with the March of Dimes to donate a box of its new flat diapers to every NICU across the United States during Prematurity Awarness Month.
The donation, of course, will help millions of babies born prematurely each year. Each year, one out of 10 — or around 38,000 — babies are born prematurely in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that 15 million babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy every year. Infants who are extremely premature face unique health issues that can be irritated by poorly fitting diapers.
Stacey Steward, president of the March of Dimes, said of the partnership in a press release,
With the rising preterm birth rate, the March of Dimes’ fight for the health of all moms and babies has never been more important. We are proud to partner with Pampers, who shares our commitment to innovation, research, protection, care and support, ensuring that future generations of babies have a fighting chance.
That's why innovations in NICU diaper products are so important to the littlest of little ones. Wilford told Parents,
Many people don't know this, but preterm birth is a national health crisis. Thankfully, advances in medical science have allowed many of these babies to thrive in the NICU. Support for preemies is crucial for research, education, and advocacy programs for these tiny babies and their parents.
Pampers' flat diaper also comes a year after Proctor & Gamble rolled out the Pampers Swaddlers size P-3 diaper meant for infants weighing as little as 1 pound, according to USA Today. The Preemie Swaddlers diaper size took three years to develop, and features a narrow absorbent pad that allows a baby's hips and legs to rest close to the body. Like the flat diaper, the size P-3 diaper is meant to reduce disruption and improve medical care, as well as promote better sleep and positioning. The diaper runs three sizes smaller than the Swaddlers newborn diaper and can fit babies born in the second trimester.
E. Yuri Hermida, Proter & Gamble's vice president of North America Baby Care, said in a press release at the time:
In 2002, we were the first major diaper manufacturer to create a diaper for premature babies. When nurses asked us to design a diaper for babies as tiny as 1 pound, everyone at Pampers was inspired to create our best diaper yet for the most vulnerable babies.
Parents of full-term babies might take for granted how diaper design can make such a difference in a baby's life, but parents of preemies know what a crucial product this is. The fact that Pampers, and other diaper brands like Huggies, are working hard to make sure that infants in NICU have a fighting chance is beyond amazing.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.