Swaddling a Neonate
Some anthropologists believe that humans once had a gestational period of 12 months. They believe that as the human race evolved and our brains grew larger, the gestational period decreased to nine months. This is why the first three months of a baby’s life is known as the “fourth trimester” (Karp, Happiest baby on the Block). A newborn should essentially be viewed as a fetus, and a premature baby is still a fetus. The female womb provides more than nutrition to the developing fetus. It protects it’s eyes from light, it provides moisture to it’s developing skin, it provides warmth as a baby cannot regulate their body temperature until six months of age, and it provides security by containing the fetus in tight quarters, preventing a trigger of the moro reflux, causing a flight or fight response in the central nervous system.
Swaddling (the first “S” of the 5 S’s for Calming by Dr. Harvey Karp)
Medical reasons to swaddle:
Many NICU babies and hospitalized infants are left un-swaddled because traditional swaddling:
The Woombie Med Pods solve all of those problems.
Woombie Med Pods
Woombie Gel Pod
The human gestational period is 38-42 weeks. Some babies are born as prematurely as 24 weeks. They’re whisked away from their mothers, put in a loose diaper in an incubator, or laid in a crib surrounded by stiff “infant positioners”. The neonate is no longer free to move the way they would in the womb. They’re no longer comforted by warm tissue, amniotic fluid, gentle rocking of mother’s movements and they’re separated from the postpartum mother therefore they cannot nuzzle into the fat of the postpartum female form, including stomach and breasts. There is perfection in the design of the mother/baby bonding opportunities after birth that these premature infants miss.
Woombie Gel Pod:
Family Centered Care
The Woombie Med Pods, including the Woombie Gel Pod, provide a sense of comfort for parents who are unable to hold their babies due to absence, diagnosis, infection control, or treatment obstacles. The Gel Pod helps the new mother feel she’s providing an inutero environment for her neonate that her body was unable to for it’s full 38-42 weeks of pregnancy.
Parents can hold their babies without fearing they’ll tangle up wires, pull off monitors, or hold baby in an uncomfortable position because they can’t feel it’s body underneath a pile of blankets.
Skin-to-skin contact, aka “Kangaroo Care” is easier to provide due to the ease of the front zipper. The gel pod allows the baby to turn itself to a side-body position without exerting valuable energy, and align itself with its caregiver’s chest and stomach for physiological synchronization.
Chelsea Vail, MA, CCLS, Newborn Care Specialist and contributing inventor of Woombie Med Pods.