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New ‘tiny’ nappies to be donated to NHS neonatal units

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Around three million new nappies designed specifically for premature babies are being donated to UK neonatal units though a partnership between a charity and a manufacturer.

Pampers has developed the Preemie Protection Size P3 nappy, which is three sizes smaller than a regular newborn nappy and is suitable for babies weighing as little as 1.8lb (800g).

“Premature babies have very unique requirements, which need to be valued”

Cherry Bond

As part of the launch of the new nappy, the charity Bliss and Pampers have partnered to donate three million of them to UK hospitals’ neonatal units for free.

The launch will aim to get the nappies to babies that need them, initially partnering with a limited number of hospitals – see list below – before rolling out nationwide to all UK hospitals from summer 2017.

The new nappies are designed to minimise disruption to help with sleep, positioning, and medical care for premature babies, said Procter & Gamble, the firm that owns the Pampers brand.

Regular newborn nappies have a wide core that can push baby’s legs apart, not allowing baby’s hips and legs to rest comfortably, which can disrupt healthy growth and development, it added.

“We were thrilled to hear about the new range of nappies for premature babies”

Caroline Lee-Davey

According to Bliss, approximately one in 11 babies are born prematurely in the UK each year and due to advances in medical science, survival rates of these little fighters are increasing.

Neonatal nursing expert Cherry Bond said: “Premature babies have very unique requirements, which need to be valued and considered in every element of their care.

“The nappies that are currently available do not fit the smallest babies properly so are often cut and folded to size, which can cause discomfort and impede optimal development,” said Ms Bond, who recently set up the Early Babies initiative and formerly worked at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.


New ‘tiny’ nappies to be donated to NHS neonatal units

One of the new nappies

Caroline Lee-Davey, chief executive of Bliss, said the new range of nappies would “make a real difference to the lives of babies and those that care for them”.

“Caring for such a small and fragile baby can be daunting,” she said. “Getting families more actively involved in caring for their premature baby aids development, creates valuable bonding time and helps babies get better faster.

“The nappy change is one way parents can take a lead and nappies that are fit for purpose will make this so much easier,” she noted.

Ian Morley, commercial director at Proctor and Gamble, said: “The happy and healthy development of every baby, including the tiniest little fighters, is our priority.


‘Unprecedented’ nurse shortages hitting neonatal units

Caroline Davey

“When nurses asked us to design a nappy for the most vulnerable babies, we rose to the challenge,” he said. “It took us three years and over 10,000 hours of research to develop the new P3 nappy.”

The brand is also asking all parents to share photos of their babies with a clenched fist on social media, to celebrate the “fighting spirit” of premature babies. It will be donating £1 to the charity for every picture shared using the hashtag #powerofbabies.

Pampers Preemie Protection nappies are available in sizes P1 (<5lb/ 2.7kg) and P2 (<4lb/ 1.8kg) and P3 (<1.8lb/ 0.8kg) and will start to be donated to hospitals from summer 2017.

Hospitals that will get the nappies initially:

  • Princess Anne Hospital Neonatal Unit – Southampton
  • Plymouth Hospital Neonatal Unit
  • Jessop Wing Neonatal Unit – Sheffield
  • Arrowe Park Neonatal Unit – Wirral
  • Buscot Special Care Baby Unit, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust – Reading
  • The Royal Oldham Hospital Neonatal Unit
  • Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital Neonatal Unit


New ‘tiny’ nappies to be donated to NHS neonatal units

New range of neonatal nappies

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