Resources and Advocacy for Late Preterm Infants

By Sue Ludwig

It’s fascinating to discover the depth of policy-related work that goes into advocating for the infants you care for every day.  

I had the honor of moderating a session at the 2018 Infant Health Policy Summit, Co-Hosted by the National Coalition for Infant Health (NCfIH) and the Alliance for Patient Access (AfPA) in Washington D.C. alongside esteemed colleagues Raylene Philips, MD, MA, FAAP, FABM, IBCLC and Jean Salera-Vieira, MS, PNS, APRN-CNS, RNC. Our session was titled, Late Preterm: Overwhelmed and Underprepared, in which we discussed the misconceptions about late preterm infants and their parents, the inherent risk factors with being born a late preterm, and what we can do about any of it as clinicians, leaders, and advocates.  

Other timely topics included a congressional update on the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act of 2018, Congenital Heart Disease, Human Milk and Single Ventricle Physiology, RSV, Tubing Safety and more. Parent stories related to each topic left us more committed and inspired than ever to advocate on behalf of our patients who cannot speak for themselves.  

While many resources were shared throughout the day, here are two that can help you in your NICU today.  

1. A downloadable infographic called ‘Still a Preemie’ regarding the late preterm infant. *Note: the age range 34-36 weeks noted here means 34 through 36 6/7 weeks of gestation.  

2. A video with the same title that you can share via social media, within your NICU, and/or with parents of late preterm infants. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

As neonatal therapists and NICU professionals, you advocate for your patients at the bedside every day. However, it’s hard to find time to create the resources needed to convey all the knowledge in your head with those around you. I hope these two give you something new to share within your unit and via social media.   

This valuable information and more can be found on the website for the National Coalition for Infant Health.

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