November 2009

Welcome to the L'il Aussie Prems November 2009 Newsletter.

Since our last newsletter we have 46 new registered members. We welcome you all to our community and please be sure to introduce yourself and your little premmie babies to us, we would love to meet you. We are so pleased to know so many families are receiving the support they need to help them through their journey.

We would like to offer congratulations to our members and their children who celebrate their birthday in November
Ethan (33wks), Hayden (32wks), Charlie (28+6wks), Janelle, Sam, Alexander, Bec, Leanne, Connor (FT), Kellie, Liss, Chelsea (31+3 wks), Jack, Amelia (FT), Charlie (36wks), Zachariah (31wks), Ainslie (35 wks), Zoe and everyone else celebrating their birthday this month, happy birthday! If you or your childs birthday is not included but should be please reply to our birthday thread on the forum so we don't miss it next year!

Kids Fashion Review are currently running their yearly great fashion hunt only this year they are raising money for premmie baby charities. Our very own National Premmie Foundation is one lucky recipient & the Neonatal Trust in NZ is the other fantastic recipient. Join in and help raise money for both of these fantastic charities.

We are excited to announce our winner of the Ickle Kids Competition from last months newsletter and the winner is Rebecca Waterhouse, QLD. Congratulations Rebecca and we hope Erin enjoys her "Pull the String" activity toy.


A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Pixie and her family on the birth of her 2nd daughter, Violet Joy weighing 3.35kgs.

There are many new and exciting things happening at L'il Aussie Prems. Be sure to check our Forum & Facebook group page for the latest updates.

We hope you all have a great month.

L'il Aussie Prems

In this issue:

* Welcome
* Latest Forum Topics
* Premmie Hero Awards
* BuBBE Book
* Featured Product
* Sponsor a Premmie Parent Bag
* Premmie Bag Supporters
* Ten Tips from Premmie Mums
* Premmie Families Giving Back
* Thanks of the Month
* Premmie of the Month


Our Sponsors

Bellabee Candle Designz
Maree Jaeger Photographer
Overall Being

Our Supporters

Sheryl Massey 




Wonderful news - Pixie's baby is here


1st day of child care

LAP Christmas

Melbourne LLT picnic

My story

Santa photos

Wierd question


Join our



Every year in Australia, thousands of babies are born prematurely. Their families ride a rollercoaster of emotions as they watch their children fight to overcome the health and developmental issues facing them as a result of their early arrival. These issues continue long after the babies are discharged from hospital.

L'il Aussie Prems will be seeking nominations from around Australia of “local premmie heroes” – the ordinary yet extraordinary people who give up their time to support the families of premature babies both during their hospital stay and afterwards, doing everything from sewing tiny clothing for very low birth weight babies to setting up local playgroups for prematurely born children to organising fundraising for research into the causes of premature birth, the list is endless.

Nominations open on the 1st February 2010.



Natasha Bowden is the mother of a 3 ½ year old boy who was born extremely prematurely at just 23 weeks 4 days gestation a week after they were involved in a car accident. Inspired by Hudson’s 5 ½ month battle through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Natasha set about creating The BubBE Book, an NICU journal designed specifically for premature babies and their parents in which all of the unique experiences associated with premature birth can be recorded. It is sold via her website, which aims to provide inspiration, guidance and hope to families and friends of premature children and tells the stories of Natasha’s family and that of many other women who have given birth prematurely for a variety of reasons.

Natasha and her partner Clayton were like many parents who are experiencing pregnancy for the first time in that they had little understanding of giving birth, let alone prematurely, and the consequences this type of birth would have on their’s and their son’s life. At the time Natasha would have loved to have had a ‘baby book’ specifically designed for premature babies and after discovering the limited availability of such a book in Australia she set about creating her own version. As well as providing space in which to record information about the family’s time in the NICU including Mum’s stay in the hospital, the birth, baby’s vital statistics, medical information and many milestone moments; there are tips for surviving the NICU journey, an extensive list of premature baby support, clothing and nappy websites from around the world and a very useful glossary of the terms used in the NICU.

Natasha, Clayton and Hudson have not left the hospital completely behind and still have regular paediatric, respiratory, ophthalmological and surgical follow-up appointments to attend. Hudson has mild cerebral palsy and developmental delays that require him to have regular sessions of Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Physiotherapy, but is reaching all his milestones at his own pace. After the many ups and downs of life inside the NICU, including numerous operations, Hudson today is a gorgeous, cheeky, smiley little boy who is loved, adored and admired by many people.

Natasha has since had a second son, Malakai, who was thankfully born at term and to whom Hudson is a wonderful big brother. If you would like to contact Natasha about her book, website or just to speak with her about the premature birth experience, you are welcome to contact her at





MiniLaLa Nappies

One-Size-Fits-Most pocket nappies are made with beautiful designer fabrics, and have a hidden waterproof PUL (polyurethane laminate) layer, making them easy and fuss-free (no pins or covers required). Just pop the inserts in, and away you go!

They snap down to fit from birth through to toilet training, so are wonderfully cost effective. The nappies have a suedecloth inner which draws any moisture away from baby's bottom. They fasten with hook and loop (velcro) so are easily adjustable and simple for anyone to use.
Each nappy comes with two (a large and a small) bamboo inserts. The nappy should fit your baby from around 3.5kg to 15kg.



Our Premmie Parent Bags have been created for Australian families who currently have a premature baby or babies in NICU or SCN. As a community of parents here at L’il Aussie Prems we have collated these bags to help other families find the ground support they need to help them on their journey through hospital.

Our aim is to keep each bag totally free to families and we would love your help to ensure this continues. As they are only available through our website each bag is posted direct to each families home address. Postage cost for each bag is $10.00 Australia wide.

We invite premmie families and the general public to sponsor a bag. Your sponsorship money is put directly towards postage of our premmie parent bags. We welcome you to submit a personal “hope” message which will be printed and forwarded to each family with their bag.

Please visit our sponsors page for details


Our premmie parent bags would not be filled with such amazing product information and samples if it wasn't for the very generous businesses around Australia who have helped to contribute to each of the bags.

We have posted a total of 76 bags to families around Australia.

We thank everyone who has contributed to our bags.





A special thank you also to all the premmie charities around Australia

We encourage everyone to help those families with babies currently in hospitals around Australia to sponsor a premmie parent bag and leave a message of hope.




We have included ten tips from mums who have all watched and shared in the journey whilst their premature babies have been in hospital. We hope these tips help families with babies currently in hospitals around Australia.

Tip 1 
I guess I could say try and “normalise” things as much as possible. So cuddle your baby/s as soon as you can and feed them, and bathe them and just love them, even if they feel tiny and fragile and you are scared to touch them in case you hurt them. They need to know you are there for them from the very beginning.

Tip 2
1) Record as many details of your journey as possible including photos and a diary. And 2) reach out and make friends with other premmie parents. When you are at the hospital you do not feel like a minority, yet when you get your baby home, you all of a sudden feel very alone and there seems to be no-one else around that understands

Tip 3
Take photos everyday while in hospital. While it may not be the happiest time it is amazing to see the difference day to day and is a good way to remind yourself that they are growing

Tip 4
They have their own time, own target. Each baby is different and only you know your baby so take each comment with a pinch of salt. They are special creatures and give them as much love as you possibly can.

Tip 5
Don’t ever feel guilty or blame yourself for your bubs coming early

Tip 6
Don’t be scared to ask for help! Accept offers of help and take heaps of photos as they grow up so fast. Cherish every moment, write a diary - I never did and wish I had with both boys. If your hospital offers professional photos get them done, take their foot and hand prints, have a teddy or something for comparison photos

Tip 7
Be positive, and take it all one day at a time

Tip 8
Don’t compare. Its the hardest thing to stop yourself from doing. But all prems are different, so even the same gestational age babies will have different development graphs. Your baby is unique, so just focus on the positives and don’t compare to what other babies are doing

Tip 9
Take lots and lots of photos - and make sure you keep a copy of them somewhere safe. I lost a lot of photos when my computer died and I didn’t have a backup. Also I wish I’d kept a journal, even if it was brief, because all those vivid early memories which I thought I would never forget are starting to dim now that time is passing and so many new memories are being created as Talia grows

Tip 10
Don't be afraid to be involved in your babies care as much as you can. Remember this is your baby and you are a mum
even if at times it feels like you are the stranger in NICU. Change their nappies, massage them etc.

List compiled by Kathryn from Prem in Perth



There are 1000’s of families who have experienced the NICU & SCN hospital journey around Australia after giving birth prematurely. The hospitals are a savour not only to our children but also to the families.

The medical teams create miracles everyday saving our premmie babies and even some born as early as 22 weeks. Their dedication and passion shines through our childrens smiles and laughter.

As a community of families touched by the premature journey we want to give back to hospitals around Australia to say thanks starting in 2010. The community here at L’il Aussie Prems are very excited to announce that once a year we will be collecting gifts from around Australia to send to one hospital chosen by the public. Each year a different hospital will be chosen to spread the good will from families. We enourage families of premature babies and the public to join with us in “giving back”.

Please vote in our poll currently on the website for your chosen hospital. The list of hospitals have been chosen by our members and will be rotating each year so big and small hospitals will benefit.

Please feel free to join the forum and let us know what you would like to donate. You can donate books for families to read to their babies whilst in hospital, if you are crafty you can create name tags for each baby, sew or knit, the list is endless.


We have created our “thanks of the month” with our family & friends in mind who help us through our journey after giving birth prematurely. Their support goes unwaivered and is never forgotten.

Each month we choose a loved one from our submissions made by parents. We endevour to thank everyone who submits details to us as every loved one deserves to be recognised for their amazing support.

With each submission a 15cm x 5cm personalised candle of thanks will be sent to each loved one that is featured on the website in that month from L’il Aussie Prems & Bellabee Candles.

Your premmie babies picture will be added to the candle with your families surname.  Please visit Bellabee Candles to view their amazing range of personalised candles.






Emma & her mum Roz

Where was Emma born?
Womens and Childrens Hospital, Adelaide

What was her gestation?
27 weeks

And was her birth weight?
510 grams (1lb 1 oz)

What do you remember most about Emma's time in hospital?
The hours spent staring at her humicrib and feeling so helpless. I also remember the day she had to be resuscitated - she stopped breathing in my arms and went grey and limp - it was horrifying.

Does Emma have any ongoing health issues?
Emma is very small for her age. Is in the 3rd percentile for her height and weight. Her main issue is that she does not eat solid foods. At 3 and a half she still lives on bottles with a special formula of which we have to feed her... She has chronic lung disease which manifests itself in asthma, bronchitis, etc. She has been slow with reaching her physical milestones, but she is mentally advanced for her age.

What has been your proudest moment since Emma came home?
Every milestone has been proud. From such a small scrap that was the size of a pen.. to this gorgeous little girl. I was proud when she first stood, crawled, walked, brushed her teeth. It is amazing to watch these special little treasures grow and develop. After such a tough start to life, it is truly a miracle they are ALL here today.

Thank you
L'il Aussie Prems Team


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