Five things you might not know about premature babies

Rachael Marsh is the founder of Ickle Pickles Childrens Charity, which was set up to provide equipment for neonatal babies after the birth of her own Ickle Pickle Charlie, born at 28 weeks at St Georges hospital. To date the charity has raised £1.8m and they’re just getting started.

Each year Rachel organises a fundraising ball, and this year is no exception. She’s a whizz with an auction hammer, and the work the charity has done has made a huge difference to the lives of so many families.
And she just ran the marathon in 4.28, so she’s badass as well.

Rachel’s is now sharing her five things you might not know about premature babies:

1. Very premature babies are often born without eyelashes, cartilage in their ears or tear ducts. These come in time but it takes a while!

2. Incubators are vital for regulating a tiny babies temperature in their first few weeks of life as premature babies are often unable to do this for themselves.

3. Very premature babies often don’t open their eyes for days or even weeks.

4. Common sounds, such as closing the incubator porthole can be the equivalent to that of exposing a neonate’s sensitive ears and immature nervous system to the noise level of a rock concert.

5. Kangaroo cuddles (skin to skin) help mummies (and daddies) to bond with their babies. The smell, sound and touch of mummy soothes the baby, reduces anxiety and helps to stabilise babies vital stats.