November 29, 2021

This World Prematurity Day: New Report By Pampers Reveals Parents Struggle To Connect With Their Premature Babies During The Early Stages Of Their Care

Touch plays a vital role in the early development of a preemie baby by regulating heart rate, improving their sleep1…

  • Touch plays a vital role in the early development of a preemie baby by regulating heart rate, improving their sleep1 and helping them connect with the world around them
  • Almost a third (30%) of parents feel too nervous to hold their preemie baby, whose skin is 2x thinner and more delicate in comparison to a full-term baby
  • Two-thirds of parents said bonding with their babies was affected because they were unable to touch or hold them as much as they wanted
  • This World Prematurity Day (17th November), Olympic cyclist and parents of premature son, Sir Chris Hoy, and his wife Lady Sarra Hoy return in support of Pampers for Preemies campaign, in partnership with Bliss
  • Pampers is committed to the happy, healthy development of every baby and continues to donate their smallest nappy, Pampers Preemie Protection Nappies, specially designed to offer gentle protection for premature babies in need

LONDON, Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As we return to a world where we can enjoy physical connections with family and friends, we can all appreciate the significance touch has, in helping us feel loved and cared for. Touch is the first sense a baby develops and is the most active sense connecting them to the outside world.2 But when a baby is born too soon, so is their skin. For the 1 in 133 babies born prematurely in the UK, their skin is up to 2x thinner than that of a full-term baby’s, making it sensitive and delicate. From comfort holding to a nappy change, every touch can feel huge to a preemie baby, and it plays a vital role in their early development and parental bonding.

This World Prematurity Day, Pampers, in partnership with Bliss, the UK’s leading charity for babies born premature or sick, is shining a light on the importance of touch for preemie babies. During their babies’ critical first days and weeks of life on a neonatal unit, parents may not be able to touch or hold their baby as much as they want to. A small number of parents may have to wait a week or more to hold their baby for the first time, if their baby is very unwell.

A study by Pampers amongst parents of premature babies in the UK, found that 30% of parents felt too nervous to hold their delicate preemie baby and 34% felt they missed out on the opportunity to care for their baby, with experiences such as first nappy change or feed. The recent pandemic continues to impact parents on the neonatal unit, further impeding touch, with 21% saying they had to wear PPE while caring for their baby and 15% said they were not able to hold their baby due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The study also highlights that the pressures of having a baby on the neonatal unit can have an adverse effect on parents’ wellbeing. 41% of parents said their neonatal experience impacted their mental health, whilst 63% felt that not being able to touch or hold their baby as much as they wanted to, impacted their ability to bond.

These feelings continued when parents returned home with their baby, with over a third of parents saying they were too nervous to hold their baby because they were still so small and 27% were worried, they would damage their preemie baby’s sensitive skin. 32% of parents also struggled to find the right size of nappy for their baby as they were still very small. That’s why Pampers created Preemie Protection nappies – to ensure that all babies can have the best possible start in life, including babies born early. These nappies are Pampers’s smallest, up to three times smaller than a regular new-born nappy, and have been specially designed to be extra gentle on preemie babies’ delicate skin as they continue to develop. Pampers Preemie Protection nappies continue to be donated to neonatal units in hospitals across the UK as this is where the need is greatest but they are now also available to parents and families of preemie babies, free of charge, through ASDA pharmacies.

Returning campaign ambassadors, Sir Chris and Lady Sarra Hoy are parents to seven-year-old Callum, who was born 11 weeks premature. They continue to raise awareness of prematurity, with Lady Sarra serving as a Bliss Ambassador. The Hoys said: “When our son was born prematurely, whilst it was a very distressing time for our family, we were encouraged to feel involved in Callum’s care. Simply placing a hand on him while he was in the incubator was the start of our close relationship with him and important for his early development. At the time, we struggled to find the right sized nappies to care for his gentle skin, but it’s great that Pampers is helping preemie babies by making their preemie nappies available to neonatal wards.”

Ian Morley, President of Sales, P&G UK, Ireland and Nordics said: “Nothing can prepare you for having a premature baby. It can be an enormous shock, entering an unknown world full of bleeping machinery and unanswered questions. As a father to two girls born prematurely, I know how important it is to have items that are designed with your baby’s needs in mind. Touch and comfort play such a vital role in their early development, but extra care is needed since their skin is much more delicate and delicate compared to a full-term baby. At the time, my girls didn’t have access to specially designed nappies but it’s great to know that now, our nappies are helping so many babies have the best possible start in life. They have been developed with the help of neonatal experts, to provide gentle protection for the delicate skin of a preemie baby and to alleviate discomfort.  At Pampers, we’re committed to making the world better for preemie babies and since 2017, we have donated hundreds of thousands of our Pampers Preemie Protection nappies to hospitals. And this year, we want to make them even more accessible. With the help of our retail partner ASDA, parents and families of preemie babies can now collect our preemie nappies from ASDA pharmacies across the UK, free of charge.

This year, in addition to their continued preemie nappy donations, Pampers and long-standing charity partner Bliss, will develop detailed tailored resources on the Bliss website for all parents at different stages of their premature journey. Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss, said: “When their baby is first admitted to neonatal care, parents can feel like they’re unable to do much for their baby. But touching, holding and nappy changing is so important for development and bonding. Premature babies have incredibly delicate skin, so extra care is needed when it comes to touch, as well as an extra gentle nappy. Our mission together with Pampers is to ensure all parents and families of premature and sick babies feel supported and confident in their role as a partner in their baby’s care. The tailored content that we are developing, thanks to Pampers’ donation, will be a key tool in facilitating family-centered care, keeping parents involved and connected during those critical, early days.

You can help Pampers to continue to touch the lives of babies in need and ensure their skin is protected too. For every share of #PampersForPreemies on Twitter or Instagram between 17th November 2021 and 30th November 2021, Pampers will donate to Bliss to support families of premature or sick babies with tailored support. Additionally for every pack of Pampers Nappy or Nappy Pants product purchased on Asda.com between 11/11/21 and 29/12/21 or in participating Asda stores between 08/12/21 and 29/12/21, Pampers will donate 1 nappy to a baby in need through their partnership with the charity, In Kind Direct.  For more information, visit #PampersForPreemies T&Cs (pamperssquad.co.uk).

Pampers Preemie Protection nappies are available to parents in sizes P1 (<4lb/ 1.8kg), P2 (<2.2lb/ 1kg) and P3 (<1.1lb/ 0.5kg). If you are a healthcare professional and would like to order free Pampers Preemie Protection Nappies today for your neonatal unit, please contact pampers.preemies@sykes.com.

1,2 Aslam M, MD, Inayat M. Development of Fetal Senses: Implication in Intrauterine and Postnatal Life. Neonatal Intensive Care 2007; 20 (4): 18-20

3 https://www.bliss.org.uk/research-campaigns/neonatal-care-statistics/prematurity-statistics-in-the-uk   

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About the Survey

The survey was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB. All surveys were conducted between 20th October 2021 and 25th October 2021. The sample comprised 305 UK parents of children aged 0-4 born prematurely. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (2018).

About Pampers®

At Pampers, we believe in the power of working together – with parents, experts and our valued partners – to make babies’ world better, today and in the future. That’s why, for more than 50 years, parents have trusted Pampers to care for babies’ happy, healthy development. Pampers is a part of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and is the #1-selling nappy worldwide. Every day, more than 25 million babies in 100 countries around the world wear Pampers. Pampers offers a complete range of nappies, wipes and training pants designed to provide protection and comfort for every stage of baby’s development. Visit www.pampers.co.uk to learn more about Pampers products, our latest innovations and for a chance to win rewards.

Pampers, together we make babies’ world better.

About Procter & Gamble

P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bold®, Braun®, Daz®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Herbal Essences®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Tampax®, Venus® and Vicks®.

Although headquartered in the US, P&G was founded by an Englishman and an Irishman in 1837, our heritage lives on through the work of around 2500 people across 10 sites, including R&D Centres, Manufacturing Plants and Business sites, across the UK & Ireland. 

Beyond our Purpose, Values & Principles, the foundation on which P&G was built and our guiding force for over 180 years, we aspire to be a force for good, and a force for growth.  Through our citizenship priorities, we want to build a better world for all of us – inside and outside of P&G – free from gender bias, with equal voice and equal representation. Environmental sustainability is embedded into our business, and has been for decades, and we have a strong track record of delivering on our goals in this area.  We support communities around the world through our people, our brands and our partners by delivering the comforts of home, health and hygiene.

To learn more about P&G UK and Ireland, our brands, and our Citizenship programmes, please visit our website, download our Northern Europe Citizenship Report, or follow us on our social channels (Twitter @PGUK and Instagram @pgukandireland)

About Bliss

Bliss exists to give every baby born premature or sick in the UK the best chance of survival and quality of life. We champion their right to receive the best care by supporting families, campaigning for change and supporting professionals, and enabling life-changing research. Bliss was founded in 1979 by a group of concerned parents who discovered that no hospital had all the equipment nor the trained staff it needed to safely care for premature and sick babies. Determined to do something, these volunteers formed a charity to give vulnerable babies the care they deserve. More than 40 years later, Bliss has grown into the leading UK charity for the 100,000 babies born needing neonatal care every year.

Registered charity no. 1002973

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