Imagine the heartbreak felt when I heard from a woman whose friend had a baby admitted for jaundice in a hospital based in the northeast region of the US. The baby was visibly, and audibly upset for 36 hours while receiving phototherapy treatment, unable to be toucher or held by her mother. The woman asked the nurses if she could bring a Woombie Bili Pod in to support the crying newborn and a nurse responded, "The babies don't remember this".
Hmmmm, sure, its true there's no conscience memory of the pain and discomfort, but research shows stress has negative effects on brain development, even while inutero (in the womb). A fetus in its mother's womb feel stress of it's mother and can spike cortisol levels and experience firing and rewiring of nuerons in the brain that prewire the baby for stress. An infant born into a stressful environment can experience the same cortisol spike, heartrate increase, low oxidation, or worse- failure to thrive. These babies need our support now more than ever to bring them comfort in their new world and ease the transition from the womb to the world. They need to know this world is safe and that their socio-emotional development is just as important to us, their caregivers, as their physiological health.
If you're in the midwest, we are represented by Med Alliance.
If you're on the west coast, we are represented by Medical Dynamics.
McArthur Medical represents us in Canada.
Please go to WoombieMedPods.com or call 1-877-MED-PODS
Woombie Med Pods were designed by a nurse, Karen Barski, and a Child Life Specialist and Family Therapist, Chelsea Vail. Together, Barski Vail Designs, LLC was born to provide empathy-based products for the underserved patient populations on the pediatric units of childrens hospitals. Thats right, PEDIATRICS, there are millions of babies hospitalized daily OUTSIDE the NICU. Full-term babies admitted for jaundice, flu, RSV, abuse, burns, trauma, cystic-fribrosis, leukemia, opioid withdrawl, gastroschisis, post-operative care, cardiac needs, and so many other diagnosis and treatment needs.
Whats the problem?
Theres almost no developmental care for these babies on the pediatric side. Often they're given an oversized, loose fitting patient gown and a huge barred sterile crib in a cold room with bright lights.
Perhaps they're swaddled in an itchy overbleached blanket and unwrapped and rewrapped every 2-4 hours for vital signs and they houdini out of the swaddle quicker than that are are left flailing and crying until someone can get to them to provide comfort.
Then, theres the procedures...
Imagine a baby being hospitalized with, or without, parental support. Perhaps parents are tending to other kids or at work to maintain insurance and stay employed. Perhaps they're hospitalized themselves... so, baby is admitted and needs a heel stick, blood draw and IV placement. Perhaps they need a PICC line or EEG. Or, maybe, they'll need CT scan, MRI, x-rays. No matter the procedure, to an infant, this is traumatic and stressful and causes firing and prewiring of neurons for stress in the brain. The Woombie Med Pod line can be used for comfort, calmin and procedural support!
Procedural support via comfort positioning! Paging Child Life...
The Woombie Med Pod can comfort the baby 360 degrees during scans, EEG, or post trauma during triage. If an IV or PICC line needs to be placed, one arm can be pulled from snaps at the armpit while still swaddling the baby. The double zipper allows easy access to diaper area for VCUG, circumcision, wound care, or feet for IV or blood draw.
Child Life Specialists, we need you to advocate for the Woombie Med Pod line at your hospital! Swaddling and comfort positioning should be best practices to reduce trauma and improve psychsocial care of pediatric infants 0-3 months during hospitalization.
When I was beginning my career in Child Life, I started by volunteering at a childrens hospital Child Life Department after class while I was in undergrad at UNT. I spent the bulk of my time on the respiratory unit with the trach babies. If you're unfamiliar with the term, "trach", its the short version of tracheostomy. Its a breathing tube placed in the trach of a baby in the case of the patients I was seeing.
These babies are connected to many monitors, tubes, often IVs and oxygen tanks as well. Due to the complications of the devices and medical equipment, they're limited to how much they can play and move. They also get suctioned sometimes every 10-15 minutes. I'm not sure what it feels like, but by the arm flailing, eye wincing, and gagging, I imagine its really annoying, if not painful every 10-15 minutes.
Enter the Woombie Trach Pod. A 360 degree swaddle in a patented peanut shape to mimic the womb for comfort and safe sleep while allowing range of motion in the shoulders and hips!
Its signature Bebeflex fabric provides flexion for muscle tone as the infant squirms inside of it. The arms can be brought out the snaps in the "big baby" size for play, prone, or feeding. Child Life Specialists using the Woombie Trach Pod say their babies are calmer and happier, especially during suctioning and procedures like IV placements or dressing changes.
When we put the first Woombie Trach Pod on a baby to trial it, we realized the deep V-neck not only allows space for a trach and breathing tubes, but its low enough for a post-operative cardiac patient. The sternum is exposed to keep dressings clean and dry and clinicians can view wounds easily without disturbing the baby.
The slits at the side also allow a broviac catheter to be released so baby can receive chemo, blood, iron, and other meds or fluids while staying contained and comforted. I spent four years on the 4North unit with the Hematology/Oncology patients at Dell Childrens Medical Center and have a heart for these babies as well.
Spread the word that Woombie Med Pods are designed to support the term infants with special needs, medical devices, and hospitalized for treatment on pediatric units. We're serving the underserved. WoombieMedPods.com
Any new mama preparing for the birth of her baby wonders what to take with her to the birth center or hospital. She googles "hospital bag essentials" at least once a month and sometimes overnight when shes suffering from prenatal insomnia.
The mompreneurs behind the Woombie Med Pods line hear your cries. We've been there and we'll tell you we created the Woombie Sleepy Pod and the Woombie Bili Pod with YOU in mind.
THE most frustrating thing for any new mother in the hospital (other than the noise of neighbors on your unit) is the standard Q2 or Q4 vital signs checks. This is when staff checks vital signs of you and our baby every 2-4 hours. Many hospitals don't cluster care either, so it seems like theres always someone in your room for something, whether they're checking you, your baby, or your room toilet to see if you've pooped yet (yes, its a real thing), they're in the room disturbing you.
But, with the new, Woombie Sleepy Pod, the disturbance to baby can be significantly less! Instea of unwrapping baby from that obnoxious flannel blanket into the cold stale hospital air, igniting the moro reflex of fight or flight, baby can be snuggled safe and warm in a Woombie Sleepy Pod and vital signs can be checked through the pod withut disturbing the baby.
The thermoregulatory fabric is thin enough to check heartbeat through the pod and the double zipper allows easy access to the ankle to check ID bracelet or pulse on the toes. If, for some reason, your baby needs an IV or heel stick, simply pull out the foot for access while decreasing negative touch. The patented peanut shape allows for range of motion in the shoulders and hips and the pod can be used at the hospital as well as at home for safe sleep the first few months of life. So...bring several!
If your newborn is one of the 60% of newborns admitted for phototherapy due to jaundice,bring a Woombie Bili Pod, the swaddle for jaundice babies that allows full luminosity during phototherapy treatment.
Be prepared for the birth of your baby whether youre in the hospital or at a birth center, by purchasing Woombie Sleepy Pod and Woombie Bili Pod and taking them with you in your hospital bag. These are hospital bag essentials! And, a white noise machine to drown out those noisy neighbors!
Chelsea Vail, MA, CCLS, Newborn Care Specialist and contributing inventor of Woombie Med Pods.