Physiotherapy and developmental care
“We try and prevent problems, and it’s much easier to do because we have a range of equipment available. It is all provided by Tiny Lives” (Neonatal Physiotherapist)
Tiny Lives meets the cost of a full time Neonatal Physiotherapist to work on the unit. This ensures that premature and unwell term babies have direct access to specialist neonatal physiotherapy input whenever they need it, frequently following babies from birth to 2 years corrected age.
You can find out more about a day in the life of Pat Dulson, our Neonatal Physiotherapist, here!
As my daughter was born just over 12 weeks early, she was forced into an unnatural position to what would have occurred inutero for the remaining trimester. At first, the physiotherapists worked closely with the neonatal nurses to use “positioning”, a gentle placing of the baby to imitate still being in the womb. They used special aids, like nests and gel cushions to support her fragile limbs and head. Alice has torticollis and plagiocepaly present, so Pat worked with us to help gently ease the muscles in her neck and drew up a personalised plan for us to take home.
None of the exercises were too overwhelming and the touch and confidence you needed to carry them out actually helped me in handling this fragile being that I felt too scared to touch sometimes. It also gave me a perfect excuse to get my hands on her more often!
Because of this early involvement and the ongoing work proving some already promising results, we were discharged straight into community paediatric physiotherapy services which still look after us 2 years on. Since the first Tiny Lives physiotherapists we have seen, we have been equally supported by physiotherapists since who have always been a pillar of strength, knowledge and support. Being able to have this continuity of service is partly in thanks to Tiny Lives who ensured this early level of help gave my little girl the best start possible.
Working closely with parents and staff, the Neonatal Physiotherapist provides early assessment and intervention for premature and term babies across a wide range of range of areas. Typical examples include respiratory assessments and chest treatments, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular assessments and treatment, and early support for babies at risk of developmental delay or other problems. Babies may need the support of a physiotherapist across all levels of care in the unit – from critically ill babies on intensive care to babies who are almost ready to be discharged home.
As well as paying for a specialist physiotherapist, Tiny Lives also meets the cost of specialist training and the purchase of related equipment such as Developmental equipment and positioning aids.
My name is Claire Ellerby and i am a sister on ward 35 where i have worked for over 10 years now.
I am one of the lead nurses in developmental care on the unit. We strongly rely on the support of Tiny Lives to help us provide the best care possible for babies and their families. With Tiny Lives funding we have been able to purchase developmental aids for use on the unit to provide an optimum environment for the babies to grow and develop in.
What we Fund
Tiny Lives annually funds a range of high quality aids to promote and support the correct development in premature babies. These include: