Happy Valentines Day All!


hands   COMMUNITY    heartexclaim

In the beautiful country of Italy the preterm birth rate is a very low 6.51% (Global Average is 11.1 %, USA average is 9.6% per March of Dimes). The current rate of births for Italian women is 1.39 children on the average while the European average is 1.58. Per the World Health Organization across 184 countries the rate of preterm birth ranges from 5% to 18% of babies born.

A Different Dynamic!

A dynamic decline in births combined with a growing retired population has created a demographic storm that will challenge Italy’s economic growth in the future. High unemployment rates often leading to migration out of the “homeland”, low rates of woman in the workforce, high nursery care costs are some of the issues challenging the population in general.


Researchers in ITALY found that mothers and fathers of premature babies can react differently per an article dated 12/03/16 in the weekly research publication Family Included. The article shares the findings of a small study that concluded that mothers of preterm birth babies experience distress due to the alteration in their own role and by the appearance of their preterm baby while fathers reported greater feelings of anger and fear in the context of bonding with their babies. Researchers concluded that a family centered “intervention” is necessary.


There is a great need globally to provide our preterm birth families with strong, effective, and accessible resources! Technology has the ability to enhance the bonding experience with preemies and their family members at large! The ability to visually/auditorily record the baby’s journey allows families with access to appropriate technology to include the family members in the baby’s early life experience while protecting the preterm birth baby’s exposure to airborne and contact pathogens.



Kathryn was born (1991) when preterm birth parents were informationally, socially, and personally isolated and disempowered on this journey. We feel inspired knowing that the actions, research, data collection, information sharing, collaboration, grassroots and global activities of organizations such as WHO, March of Dimes, Healthy Newborn Network, GAPPS, CARE and the multitudes of other Local, National and Global support resources have not only advanced our ability to prevent preterm births, but provide services to connect and care for the Neonatal Womb community at large.  THANK YOU! 



Preterm Simulator! Simulation in medical training is a critical teaching resource! Below is a recent example of simulation technology. While we do not personally know the cost and outcome effectiveness of this specific technology we are confident that new technologies will empower our abilities to reduce preterm birth and provide effective medical care to mothers and preterm infants in our global Neonatal Womb Community. See SIM Characters recent “arrival”.

Recently (01/10/16) SIM Characters (located in Vienna) launched Paul, a 27-week gestation simulation manikin! Per the SIM Character website “Paul is the most accurate recreation of a preterm baby born in the 27th week of pregnancy. Overwhelmingly praised by neonatologists and NICU nurses for his highly realistic anatomy and convincingly lifelike features, the Paul High Emotion simulator has already become Europe’s favorite new manikin. Designed specifically to improve the realism and learning outcomes of your NICU/PICU training program, Paul will transform your simulations beyond high-fidelity into high emotion”.

SIM Characters – The Story of Paul Premature Baby Simulator –

We found the brochure to be especially informative:

http://www.simcharacters.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SIMCharacters-Paul-Brochure-1_17.pdfAbout SPIE

Preemie Developments in Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

The article notes that one in four preterm babies will grow up with cognitive and physical impairments mainly caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.  The ability to precisely monitor blood flow and oxygenation could help reduce the risk of brain lesions in extremely premature babies. Even a small reduction (i.e., from 25 to 20%) in the risk of brain lesions would eventually reduce the number of children with disabilities by more than 1000 per year in Europe alone according to Alessandro Torricelli in this article published on December 06, 2016. In summary, the article states “we have developed a new neonatal tool—known as BabyLux—to help prevent neurological damage in preterm babies (caused by a lack of oxygenation in the brain). The main goal of our project has been to bridge the gap between research and industry, by addressing a specific need that affects both children and society as a whole. After two years of laboratory tests, we are currently conducting a clinical trial in Denmark and Italy. We plan to deliver the first results at a public conference in Milan, in December 2016”.

SPIE is an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. About the Society: The not-for-profit society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth.

Full Link: http://spie.org/newsroom/6647-innovative-neonatal-sensing-system-for-the-prevention-of-neurological-damage

treeheart Preemie Family Partners:

We are heartily exploring research related to the health, medical, social, emotional and psychological needs of preterm birth babies as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. Research is very new in the grand scheme of things and some of what we review may alarm various community members.  However, we believe that now is the time to keep our eyes and hearts open! It is not “enough” that these children survived; we need to provide them with the appropriate resources and support to live empowered healthy lives. Keep in mind that much of the research is new and evolving. Our healthcare partners will be challenged to further their research, interpret information and develop appropriate diagnostics and treatments. We are a Family, and we truly need each other.

According to UO’s Andrew Lovering, preterm young adults may live with lungs of the elderly April 28, 2015 (University of Oregon)-

“Adult survivors of preterm births may have a lung capacity that resembles the healthy elderly or casual smokers by the time they reach their early twenties, says Andrew Lovering, associate professor of human physiology at the University of Oregon. Lovering was the lead author on a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, comparing the lung function of adults born after fewer than 32 weeks to adults born full-term. “Additional research is needed to find better ways to serve adult survivors of preterm birth,” Lovering said. “We need to better understand how we can help them maximize their quality of life and lung health as they age.”

Full Article: http://research.uoregon.edu/news/discovery-innovation/preterm-young-adults-may-live-lungs-elderly

Link discovered between preterm birth and risk of heart disease-American Heart Association Meeting Report Abstract 45

ORLANDO, Florida, Sept. 15, 2016 – Abnormalities in a type of cell involved in blood vessel development and healing may explain why adults who were born prematurely are at increased risk of high blood pressure and other heart alterations, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions. Interested?

Full Article: http://m.newsroom.heart.org/news/link-discovered-between-preterm-birth-and-risk-of-heart-disease

Health Care Partners

Last spring, when medical resident Ned Morris was about to publicly disclose his struggle with depression during medical school, he was fearful that the disclosure would hurt him professionally. Earlier this month, Morris wrote a Washington Post column and posed the question: What drives bright young people – medical students – to take their own lives? In this podcast, he discusses the stigma of mental illness that is still so pervasive in society today.

Hear Ned’s perspectives on this Podcast!https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/one-to-one/2016/mental-health-in-medical-school.html

What we can do!

Review and consider signing this petition! –Demand AAMC and ACGME Take Action to Prevent Medical Student and Resident Suicides-http://www.thepetitionsite.com/869/066/029/demand-aamc-and-acgme-put-an-end-to-medical-student-and-resident-suicide/?cid=fb_LG_AdsMedStudentPhysicianSuicide&src=facebook_ads&campaign=sign_869066029&z00m=27883481

speech-bubble-round.pngNot a Talker? (you kinesthetic travelers!)

If we as Preterm Birth Community Members (all of us) proactively address our emotional and mental health needs as we experience life, the potential for our experiences to cause us to freeze or become incapacitated by our emotions will be greatly reduced or in many cases transition us emotionally to even greater health and larger capacities to empower the healing of ourselves and others. While we are aware that EMDR and Yoga are currently considered the most effective approaches to treating PTSD (please note that these are also non-verbal treatment modalities), we want to share additional options to explore that we have found effective during our healing life journeys.



Named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing Structural Integration is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body. The Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity providing enhanced freedom of movement.

My (Kathy) first experience with Rolfing was at Esalen Institute in the early 1980’s. The therapist noted considerable constriction around my heart and I found that therapy was effective in opening my physical and emotional channels. In the 1990’s I pursued Rolfing as a healing modality after the birth (and death of one twin) and found emotional as well as physical relief from severe hip and sacral constriction related to scar tissue and misalignment. As the constrictions are released, so are many emotions that are stored subconsciously/cellularly within our bodies!

Enjoy this fun and informational You Tube with Dr. Oz and Oprah!



We know that there is a lot of interesting information in this blog for you to explore. So let’s just kick back and watch a little surfing – Italian Style!

When From Rome- Published on Aug 21, 2015-Leonardo Fioravanti has done as the Romans seldom do: Become a world-class surfer.


Can you guess our next destination?














Author: Kathy Papac and Kathryn (Kat) Campos

Kathryn (Kat) Campos: Hello, I am a former 24 week gestation micro-preemie. I lost my twin brother Cruz at birth and encountered open heart surgery with no anesthesia at 3 weeks old weighing 1lb 3oz/0.58kg. I served on the University of Washington Medical Center Advisory Board Neonatal ICU Council from 2013 to 2015. I am passionate about assisting and supporting our Global NICU Community. If your a Preterm Birth/NICU Survivor this blog is dedicated to you, your family, and all members of the NICU Community. Together lets support other Preemie Survivors, Preemies, Preemie families, Preemie Community, Neonatal and related Staff, Providers, Professionals and Facilities. We ALL have stories to share and preemie journeys to help empower! Kathy Papac: Preemie Mom of surviving (Kathryn) and a deceased (Cruz) 24 week gestation twins. Neonatal Womb journeyer, counselor/legal expert with an MA certificate in Spirituality, Health and Medicine from Bastyr University. Passionate Global Community participant. Our goal is to recognize, honor and empower the Neonatal Womb community and shine light upon the presence and potentiality of the preterm birth survivors as vital community participants.

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