Poets, Preverbal Trauma, Parent Empowerment



IRAN (Persia)


Rumi, Hafez, Sahams Tabrizi; globally renown philosophers and Poets of Iran!

With over 79.92 million inhabitants (as of August 2017), Iran is the world’s 18th-most-populous country (Wikipedia).

12.94% Preterm rate (2010) Global Average 11.1% Ranking: 38   Born Too Soon/March of Dimes

This interesting Forbes Magazine article indicates that the United States may face a shortage of 46,100 to 90,400 physicians by 2025. In my (Kathy) 34 years of employment within the healthcare community, I have worked with numerous international health care providers; many from Iran.  Physicians and surgeons from Iran make up a large portion of foreign-born providers practicing in the USA.  Our global preterm birth community research has shown us that our health, well-being, medical progress, resource development and innovations are globally enhanced and dependent upon our sharing, partnership, collaboration, and universal needs. This is especially true in the preterm birth community where the global average for preterm birth is 1 out of 10, representing a significant portion of the world population.     

Forbes Magazine – 07/12/16: Currently, more than one-quarter of physicians and surgeons in the United States are foreign-born. In addition to physicians, roughly one-fifth of nurses and home health and psychiatric aides, and more than one-sixth of dentists, pharmacists and clinical technicians in the United States were foreign born in 2010. When foreign-born professionals account for 16% of all civilians employed in healthcare occupations and one-fourth of practicing physicians, the system really does depend on a functioning immigration system. There are simply not enough native-born healthcare workers to meet the growing demand–especially in the geographic areas with the greatest need.

Full Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2016/07/12/25-of-docs-are-born-outside-of-the-u-s-can-immigration-reform-solve-our-doc-shortage/#1f0bbb6a155f


The Iranian Journal of Neonatology explores complex relationships within our Neonatal Womb Community and how existing resources can create better health through sharing and empowerment strategies.

Mothers’ Challenges after Infants’ Discharge from Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Qualitative Study Iranian Journal of Neonatology – Mar 2017; 8(1) Abstract  (Open Access – Original Article

Background: Mothers with premature infants face certain challenges such as uncertainty on how to deal with their infant’s condition and care for it after discharge from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods: A qualitative design was used to explain mothers’ challenges after their infant’s discharge from NICUs in Isfahan, Iran, 2015. Purposive sampling was adopted to interview the mothers who could provide us information about the challenges after their infant’s discharge. Data collection was performed by interviewing mothers. Data saturation was reached after conducting 23 in-depth, semi-structured interviews. All the data was analyzed by qualitative content analysis.

Results: Four themes and nine categories were identified. The themes were incompetence in breastfeeding, dependence on hospital and nurses, feeding tube as a reason for stress, and constantly worried mothers.

Conclusion: Mothers have difficulty in meeting their infants’ basic needs after discharge. Supporting these mothers can enable them promote their infant’s health

Study Conclusion: Regarding the findings of this study, we can argue that mothers’ presence in NICU to engage in infant care and healthcare team’s support for these mothers after discharge might lower their stress and promote their self-confidence and care abilities, which in turn, lead to infants’ growth and development, as well as reduction in their NICU readmission.

 Catch the wave: http://ijn.mums.ac.ir/article_8520_7fe55687c5964fa0107bbc4074f00267.pdf


We enthusiastically agree with Dr. Felder (article below) who states “What’s so exciting about the study is that a sleep disorder is a potentially modifiable risk factor”

Sleep Disorders Linked to Preterm Birth in Large California Study- Aug. 8, 2017-UCS

Insomnia, Sleep Apnea Nearly Double the Risk of a Preterm Delivery Before 34 Weeks

By Laura Kurtzman

Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers at UC San Francisco.

The study found the prevalence of preterm birth—defined as delivery before 37 weeks’ gestation—was 14.6 percent for women diagnosed with a sleep disorder during pregnancy, compared to 10.9 percent for women who were not. The odds of early preterm birth—before 34 weeks—was more than double for women with sleep apnea and nearly double for women with insomnia. Complications are more severe among early preterm births, which makes this latter finding particularly important, the authors said.

The study, published Aug. 8, 2017 in Obstetrics & Gynecology, is the first to examine the effects of insomnia during pregnancy. Because of a large sample size, the authors were able to examine the relationship between different types of sleep disorders and subtypes of preterm birth (for example, early vs. late preterm birth, or spontaneous preterm labor vs. early deliveries that were initiated by providers due to mothers’ health issues).

“The women who had a diagnosis of a sleep disorder recorded in their medical record most likely had more severe presentations,” said Aric Prather, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF and senior author of the study. “It’s likely that the prevalence would be much higher if more women were screened for sleep disorders during pregnancy.”

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective in the general population and does not require taking medications that many pregnant women prefer to avoid. To find out if this therapy is effective among pregnant women with insomnia, and ultimately whether it may improve birth outcomes, Felder and colleagues are recruiting participants for the UCSF Research on Expecting Moms and Sleep Therapy (REST) Study.

Full article @ http://pretermbirth.ucsf.edu/news/sleep-disorders-linked-preterm-birth-large-california-study 



In Leeds, UK our Neonatal Womb partners at St. James’s University Hospital are participating in the first NICU centered family integrated care system in the UK.  Like most innovations we find in the preterm birth community, advances and innovations in medical care and technology develop globally. In the 1970s in Tallinn, Estonia the head of a local hospital faced the problem of having too many premature babies to look after and not enough nurses. Staff integrated parent participation into the care plan and found the system of inclusiveness was helping babies, resulting in better breastfeeding rates and shorter hospital stays. The article states “It took 30 years for other hospitals to copy the system, but now the system has been introduced in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and now Leeds”.  The article integrates informative short videos in order to share the personalized experiences of program participants.

The hospital where parents care for premature babies

By Nicola Rees & Andy Smythe Victoria Derbyshire programme – 4 April 2017 – BBC.com (Section UK)

“It is just nice to feel like a mum, rather than just somebody watching,” Anna Cox tells the Victoria Derbyshire programme, as she takes the temperature of her baby. Lola was born at just 23 weeks. She had a twin brother who sadly did not survive and she was given little hope of survival.

“During labour, one of the neo-natal consultants came to see us and painted a really bad picture that she could have all sorts of problems,” Anna says. Lola was cared for at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds -the first in the UK to implement a family integrated care system.

‘Pretty simple’ It put parents – not nurses – in charge of everything other than the most complicated medical treatments for their premature babies while they were in hospital. “One of the jobs we have to do is take her temperature, maybe every three or four hours,” Anna says. “It is a pretty simple procedure really.” However, parents also perform more complicated tasks, including inserting a tube into their baby’s nose to allow them to feed. “There are certain things they [nurses] obviously watch over you quite a bit to begin with because it needs to be done right,” she says. “They do like to make sure you know what you’re doing, they wouldn’t just leave you to it.”

Enter here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39444127

aloha.flowerPreterm birth survivors and young children experience trauma differently than people experiencing trauma later in life. Trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk offers empowering tools that may enhance our parenting abilities and family relationships. Van der Kolk also provides a free webinar that may catch your interest!

For Survivors of Preverbal Trauma

The Treatment of Trauma: How Childhood Trauma is Different from PTSD April 19, 2013: Bessel van der Kolk, MD, a world-renowned trauma therapist, explains the effects of childhood trauma. Learn why early-life trauma can have devastating consequences, and what we can do for the treatment of PTSD and trauma and the brain. Trauma therapy can be complex, but the treatment of trauma is becoming more and more important.



Choosing to experience life with a Curious and Creative perspective powerfully impacts our health and the progressive evolution of our Neonatal Womb community.  In this HealthDay News article (April 24, 2017) curious and creative researchers explore and identify the factors that contribute to errors in patient orders in the NICU!

Wrong-patient orders are more likely in NICU vs non-NICU pediatric units

Clinical Advisor (HealthDay News) — The risk of wrong-patient orders is higher in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) vs non-NICU pediatric units, and the risk of errors can be reduced with interventions, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Jason S. Adelman, MD, from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues examined the rate of wrong-patient orders in NICU and non-NICU pediatric units before implementing interventions, with an ID reentry intervention (reentry of patient identifiers before placing orders), and with the combined intervention involving addition of a distinct naming convention for newborns. During the 7-year study period, the authors reviewed more than 850,000 NICU orders and more than 3.5 million non-NICU pediatric orders.

The researchers found that wrong-patient orders were more frequent in NICU than non-NICU pediatric units at baseline (117.2 vs 74.9 per 100,000 orders; odds ratio, 1.56). The frequency of errors in the NICU was reduced with the ID reentry intervention to 60.2 per 100,000 (48.7% reduction; P<.001). An additional decrease was seen with the combined ID reentry and distinct naming interventions to 45.6 per 100,000 (61.1% reduction from baseline; P<.001).

“The risk of wrong-patient orders in the NICU was significantly higher than in non-NICU pediatric units,” the authors write. “Implementation of a combined ID reentry intervention and distinct naming convention greatly reduced this risk.”

Full Article: http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/pediatrics-information-center/wrong-patient-orders-more-likely-in-nicu-vs-non-nicu-units/article/652100/


Trauma changes the brain. This intelligent video explores a bit of the history of Trauma therapy, the isolation trauma creates, current treatment modalities, and methods to help us feel fully alive.

Bessel van der Kolk – how to detoxify the body from trauma – May 26, 2016

In an interview with Psychotherapist Bernhard Trenkle, Professor Bessel van der Kolk illustrates the manifold consequences of traumatic experiences on body and mind, how trauma therapy can contribute to “detoxication” and which therapeutic methods are considered effective. Professor van der Kolk briefly introduces his recent research project and enlarges on the development and capabilities of the fields of neurofeedback and mindfulness.


heartsPreterm babies experience touch differently than full term infants; due in part to painful procedures preemies encountered during care.



Infants Discharged From NICUs Have a Reduced Neurological Response to Touch

April 2017

Touch – and the somatosensory system in general – provides the “scaffolding” for development of other sensory systems in an infant’s very early life. A recent study led by a physician-researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital gives new insight into how that scaffolding is altered when a baby is born preterm and experiences painful procedures in the hospital.

The research also serves to emphasize the importance of supportive touch, such as parental holding, skin-to-skin contact and physical and occupational therapy, in caring for these infants.   

The study, published in Current Biology, reveals that babies born preterm have a reduced neurological response to gentle touch compared to babies born full term. It also shows that painful procedures may negatively affect neurological processing of non-painful touch.

“There is often an assumption that we can tell what a baby is perceiving based on vital signs or facial expressions, and our team wanted to go beyond that,” said Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD, member of the Division of Neonatology at Nationwide Children’s, principal investigator in the hospital’s Center for Perinatal Research and lead author of the study. “What we found in doing that has important clinical applications.”

Dr. Maitre and her colleagues used soft-net electroencephalography to measure event-related potentials in 55 full-term babies and 61 preterm babies (with a range of gestational ages of 24-36 weeks). Researchers used a puff of air as a stimulus. They also measured brain responses to a “sham” stimulus, or a puff of air that was directed away from the baby.

Preterm infants displayed cortical responses to gentle touch over a certain time frame that were of significantly lower amplitude than infants born full term. The decrease in touch response was proportional to the degree of prematurity at birth. There was no reduction found in response to the sham stimulus.

The researchers then examined the number of painful and supportive touches experienced by infants in a neonatal intensive care unit, and those experiences’ relationship to touch response. Noiceptive exposures – including surgeries, line insertions, injections and other experiences – were associated with decreased cortical response when controlling for gestational age and postnatal days. Supportive touches were associated with increased response to gentle touch.

“Related studies show that analgesics and sucrose do not necessarily counteract painful procedures, so it absolutely essential to minimize the exposure to them that infants experience during hospitalization,” says Dr. Maitre, who is also an associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “An emphasis on non-pharmacological treatments for pain and strategies such as kangaroo care is crucial.”

Full Article: http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/medical-professional-publications/infants-discharged-from-nicus-have-a-reduced-neurological-response-to-touch?contentId=161416&orgId=4459 





Zumba Instructors Convention 2017 – 7,500 Global ZUMBA Instructors – One Family

Stress is a subjective phenomenon that we each experience differently. Stress relief can be achieved through many methods including lifestyle changes, counseling, and relaxation/stress-management techniques. Choosing to engage in regular physical exercise is a powerful wellness choice and options are diverse and magnificent! We love dance! Our Zumba family builds global community health, fitness and Joy through dance exercise and HITT fitness experiences.


Psychology TodayIlene A. Serlin Ph.D.

The Power of Dance to Work with Trauma – Oct 17, 2016

Some events are too terrible for words. *** This is where dance comes in—an ancient and powerful way of expressing feelings. Dance is also universal and universally understood. People can communicate with each other in local communities, and across the globe. Dance organizes life in societies and cells in the body. It celebrates weddings, harvests, seasons, and can bring strength and comfort in times of grief.

In this article, Life, Death and Transformation: Keep Moving, three Turkish therapists learn how to use dance to express the affirmation of life in the face of death. – (http://www.union-street-health-associates.com/articles/life_death_transf…)

Jordan, I worked with a humanitarian organization called Common Bond Institute for a conference on intergenerational trauma, and just returned. I was worried about what I would see there and how I could help. We worked with widows and children who had basic needs met, but lacked psychosocial support. One of the most powerful moments for me was being in a women’s group and belly-dancing with them. They showed such joy and renewed energy, and no words were needed to express and understand powerful primal experiences of being women together. Several of them asked for individual sessions in which they were able to tell their stories and express difficult situations and emotions.

The medical students also understood the power of ritual for community healing. They had adapted a form of the now-popular dance called HAKA. This was originally a war dance from the Maori people of Australia. It has been used recently by soccer teams to psych themselves up for the game, and the medical students had adapted a less aggressive version for their group meetings. The leaders of that association and I collaborated on a variation of that dance as part of the opening circle for the conference. In addition, I introduced a simple circle dance step that is universal in many cultures.

The situation of the Syrian refugees can bring up strong feelings of helplessness, and the desire to do something. Finding a way to help was truly a blessing—and we all felt it.

Full Article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/make-your-life-blessing/201610/the-power-dance-work-trauma


Curious about HAKA?  See: Prince Harry performs Haka in New Zealand



Easkey Britton (the First Woman to Surf Iran) shares the journey of “Pulling Back the veil of the unseen” and states “Without connection, passion is an empty vessel”.  A powerful voice for human advancement, her wisdom is a call to action! While finishing her PhD in Marine Science Easkey began to explore the transformative power of surfing and how it can create positive social in places– like the province of Baluchistan, Iran, where in 2010 Easkey became the first woman to surf there. Her surfing career has been one of many firsts: aged just 16, Easkey Britton became the first Irish person to surf the ‘hell-wave’ Teahupoo in Tahiti, and has since become a Billabong XXL Global big-wave finalist and Ireland’s 5-time surfing National Champion. Now she is sharing her passion for surfing and the ocean by bringing her pioneering approach to the more isolated regions of the world exploring how the creative expression of surfing can empower women everywhere.


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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