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news. updates. features. events.

MArch 2014 Our Mission Our mission is to ensure that no family endures the difficult and life changing experience of having a premature or sick baby without easy access to critical information and community support to help them navigate through it.

Our Vision • Free hospital resource folder A Guiding Hand for families in NICU & Special Care for EVERY family going through this journey • Using innovative technology to provide information, education and support to families • Collaborative partnerships with researchers and organisations that assist families • Greater awareness in the community

The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is an independent charity reliant on philanthropic and corporate funding and currently receives no government funding.

Walk for Prems 2013 O

ne of the biggest days on the prem calendar and wow what a big day it was. The weather gods were kind to us throughout Australia with over 3,500 people taking part nationally, and the event creating an amazing sea of orange. The day gets bigger and better each year as it grows. The fundraising was absolutely tremendous, with everyone’s help, we broke our fundraising target of $200,000 and raised $236,129. This is such a fantastic result, we are so thrilled and delighted. With the money raised, we will be able to reach more of the 45,000 families who have a baby in Neonatal Intensive Care and Special Care Nurseries.

contacting the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation PO Box 476, Chadstone Centre RP VIC 3148 Phone: 1300 MYPREMMIE / 1300 697 736 Email: Web: lifeslittletreasuresfoundation @LifesLittle

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


Alongside our current Walk for support services we Prems: will also be able to Sunday continue providing 26 Oct families, free of charge, with our hospital folder A Guiding Hand for Families in NICU & Special Care. Thank you for making it possible for families in need to receive one. A big thank you to each and every family across Australia who took part on the day and to those that couldn’t walk but raised funds in many other ways. to Read more about the walk for prems see page 3>

A little word from the CEO “2014 is already gearing up to be a busy one for us but that’s a good thing, we love 'busy', knowing we are assisting families.” Hello All, Well 2014 has taken off and we are already in full swing for the year here at head office. In November I was very honoured to be asked by the board to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer. As one of the co-founders of the Foundation back in 2005, I am passionate about the work we do assisting families throughout Australia. I firmly believe that providing information and education to parents and professionals is key to providing best outcomes for premature and sick babies and most importantly will enable families to become their child’s advocate. We have a wonderful team here at the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, each and every one of them committed to the Foundation’s mission to ensure no family endures the traumatic and life changing experience of having a premature or sick baby without easy access to critical information and community support to help them through their journey. We have a strong strategy in place for 2014, which I’m confident can help us deliver this mission. Last year was a big year for us, with the success of Walk for Prems, introduction of our new services for families and two great new partnerships with Goodyear Tyres and Peppa Pig. I really look forward to being a part of all the exciting plans we have in place for 2014 and reaching and assisting even more families throughout the year. We also welcomed two new team members in January, Amanda Stephenson who will be looking after our Marketing and PR, and Nic Mackay who will take over from our very gorgeous Development Manager, Charlotte Hutchins. Nic will take on the role of Development & Fundraising Manager. We are thrilled to have Amanda and Nic on board and wish them well in their roles, to which they both bring a wealth of experience. We wish Charlotte, who leaves us to have her third little treasure, all the best and we look forward to lots of great cuddles in a few weeks.

The year 2014 is already gearing up to be a busy one for us but that’s a good thing, we love 'busy', knowing we are assisting families in need. We will continue to forge relations with hospitals around Australia, providing for free to all their families our hospital folder A Guiding Hand for Families in NICU & Special Care. We have been delighted with the response so far and how the hospitals have embraced the folder and our other available services, to date over 72% of all hospitals that have NICU and Special Care services around Australia use services that the Foundation provides. We are also getting started on some new services for families in 2014, which we are excited about. Work has already begun on Walk for Prems 2014, which we hope will be even bigger this year. The date has been set, so make sure you put Sunday 26th October in your diary. To ensure you don’t miss out on any walk news, join our Walk for Prems Facebook page.  On February 10th we launched a brand new event in partnership with Miss Peppa Pig called The Big Splash, an event where kids can have fun splashing with Peppa while at the same time raising funds for the Foundation.  It will run throughout March to April, kids can splash at home or in one of the participating swimming centres taking part across Australia. Details can be found on or further in this newsletter. So a busy year ahead, with all the events and new services planned. We look forward to meeting old and new families throughout the year. Hoping you and your little treasures are well.

Warmest Wishes

Shusannah Morris, Co-Founder / CEO

Disclaimer: All material on this newsletter is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation suggests that readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being or the health, development and well being of their children. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health professionals /authorities assume the risk of any injuries. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of every contributor to the LLT newsletter.


Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


Walk for Prems 2013 Melbourne walkers


efore each state walk, for the first time, we had a dove release ceremony to celebrate and remember our Little Treasures who have grown wings, a very beautiful and touching moment in the walk, we thank the families who took part and released the doves.

Some of the event winners

Walk for Prems wouldn’t have been such a success and memorable day without all the people and organisations that were involved in making it happen. Although there are so many to thank, we would like to say a special thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, who worked so hard on the day all over the country, in particular the State Walk Co ordinators, Katrina, Stacey, Kate, Alison, Sarah C, Sarah D, Lauren, Amanda, Amber and Renae – our volunteers are the foundation of LLTF.

Some of our amazing volunteers

The runners

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Huge thanks also goes to our ambassadors and supporters Brooke Hanson, Clare Bowditch, Matt Tilley, Leigh Harding, Grace and Audrey Styman-Lane and Matt Levy and to the wonderful major corporate sponsors Medela, Earlybirds and Baby Jogger, without whom the day would not have been possible. Thanks also goes to all the state sponsors and many other companies who helped us out on the day. We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us. We look forward to seeing you all for a bigger and better event. We hope to have a few more surprises in store for you!


The Bavage Family won first prize in the men's and women's 5km run!

Walk for Prems 2013

Peppa in Sydney

Peppa and Claire Bowditch


Ambassador Matt Levy


Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Brooke releasing the doves

The Telstra Tower lit up LLTF Orange

Big thanks goes to the Walk’s major sponsors for 2013:

Brooke, Peppa and some of the LLFT team

A big thank you to everyone who took part, volunteered, rasied money and offered support! Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


Feature Article

In this edition we discuss and look at Pregnancy Prenatal Care and Oral Healthcare for Children. It is probably one of the most popular topics we get all kind of questions on from mums about themselves and about their children. This article will cover areas from pregnancy onwards.

Pregnancy and the oral – systemic link Your Pregnancy Checklist

The facts:

According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institute of Health, research has shown that since a pregnant woman shares blood with her unborn baby, any infection of the mouth, such as a cavity or gum (periodontal) disease can affect the baby.

What this means? Pregnant women who have gum disease may be

• Brush AT LEAST twice a day with FLUORIDE toothpaste and a soft brush

more likely to have a baby that is premature. It is also thought that gum disease may be implicated in fertility issues.

• Spit don’t rinse after brushing

Pregnancy and Oral health Pregnancy hormones C

• QUIT smoking • Drink tap water • Favour a healthy diet; snack wisely • Avoid soft drinks and sugary/ sticky snacks • After vomiting rinse your mouth with water immediately but delay brushing for 30 minutes.

hanges in hormones and behaviour patterns can result in a range of problems: 1. Decay: from increase bacteria

2. Gag reflex: which can compromise brushing 3. Erosion: the wearing away of the enamel from acids such as morning sickness

• See your dentist early in pregnancy to get your teeth and gums checked

4. Epulis: lumps on the gum

• Fluoride supplements are not recommended in pregnancy

6. Periodontal disease: infection of the gums and surrounding bone

• An electric toothbrush may improve plaque removal and help to keep your gums healthy.

5. Gingivitis: swelling and tenderness of the gums

Change the blood supply to your gums, and when plaque is present can cause pregnancy gingivitis, swollen red gums that bleed easily when brushing and may be tender. Morning sickness and some food cravings may cause: • Increased acid attack increased risk of dental decay. After vomiting, rinse your mouth immediately with water or mouth rinse smear a little bit of toothpaste over your teeth with your finger don’t brush your teeth while the enamel surface is softened by the gastric acids; wait for 30 minutes until the tooth surface recovers. • Desire to have frequent snacks and soft drinks/carbonated drinks. To alleviate nausea, and cravings for particular foods (often sweet and sticky) can increase your risk for decay.

Women with gum disease are seven to eight times more likely to give birth prematurely to low birth weight babies. Researchers believe that gum disease causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals which are linked to pre-term birth. 6

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

How do I increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy? (a dental perspective) 1. When preparing for, or during your pregnancy, remember to visit to your hygienist/dentist. During your pregnancy, your teeth and gums need special attention. Regular brushing and flossing, eating a balanced diet and visiting your hygienist regularly will help reduce dental problems that can accompany pregnancy. 2. Quit smoking: Smoking affects your whole body including your mouth and your baby’s health will suffer too. Help to stop smoking can be found ator phone the Quit line 131 848

3 months

3. Visit the hygienist when you are pregnant. Tell your hygienist/dentist you are pregnant. Discuss any stresses, past/current health and pregnancy complications and medications. These factors will all influence how your hygienist attends to your needs. A thorough examination of your teeth and gums will be carried out. A treatment plan or maintenance plan will then be recommended.

What if I am diagnosed with periodontal disease during pregnancy?

Treatment is safe and poses less of a risk than leaving the problems untreated. Your dentist or hygienist might recommend scaling and root planning. This is a common procedure that meticulously removes contamination, toxins, micro-organisms, plaque and tartar from teeth and gums.

Can I transmit harmful bacteria that may affect my baby's teeth?

3 years

Children’s tooth formation Y our baby’s first teeth will begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. At birth, a full set of baby teeth has begun to form underneath the gums. Crown formation is not complete until well after birth. Root formation takes even longer.

Yes. Cavity-causing germs can be transmitted through contact, like when baby puts hands in your mouth, and then in his/her own mouth. That's why it's so important to keep your own teeth and gums healthy.

During the last trimester, the mother provides all minerals needed to calcify the baby´s teeth. The best source of minerals is from an increased intake of calcium-rich food and drink by the mother. The healthier your diet is, the greater the likelihood that your baby’s teeth and gums will be healthy too

Note: Dental treatment between the third to sixth month is the best time for both you and your baby.

Early visits can prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. Your dentist will be able to detect early decay. Teach good habits early, as good habits start young for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Brush frequently to keep plaque levels low,

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

reduce snacking and begin dental visits early.

Reference: Australian Dental Association

Teething A baby's first tooth usually comes through the gum between 6 to 9 months of age. A full set of 20 primary teeth is usually present by 3 years of age. Symptoms of teething are variable and may include: • Irritability • Mouthing of objects • Dribbling may increase • Food fussiness or refusal • Redness on cheeks • Swelling on gums • Restlessness by day, sleeplessness by night


Feature Article

• Rashes on faces or buttocks • Management is based on symptoms shown.

Emerging teeth: Tooth decay in childhood Baby teeth can decay from the time they appear in the mouth. In fact, teeth decay more readily when they first erupt. Babies are born sterile. They have no decay causing bacteria in their mouths. Bacteria is transferred to babies via contact. Decay causing bacteria use sugars from foods to produce acid attacks. Each acid attack can last up to 20 minutes. The very early stages of mineral/enamel loss are reversible. One of the best ways to ensure your child stays decay-free is to ensure that your own teeth and gums are clean and healthy.

Is breastfeeding better than bottle feeding in preventing early childhood decay? Many experts recommend breastfeeding over bottle-feeding for the overall health of your child. However, breast-feeding can lead to Early Childhood Cavities in the same way that bottle-feeding can. To prevent early childhood cavities: • Avoid overnight feeding, • Avoid letting baby walk around with a bottle

• The Dental Association recommends that you encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.

Regular checkups keep teeth in check

Who checks children’s teeth? Dentists: qualified to treat diseases and oral conditions that affect the teeth and gums. Dental Hygienists: work co-jointly with the dentist. They are qualified to treat diseases of the gums and soft tissues. Dental Therapists: work co-jointly with the dentist. They treat diseases of the teeth and gums in pre-school, primary and secondary school aged children. Your availability means you are first line of defence.

Prevention! Prevention! Prevention! • Take your child for regular dental visits from the first signs of teeth. Familiarisation can begin even earlier. • Protect children’s teeth with fluoride. • Prioritise oral health at least twice each day. • A balanced diet is necessary for children to develop strong, decayresistant teeth. • If you are, or planning to be, pregnant get prenatal dental care and eat a healthy diet. • Talk to your child’s dentist/therapist about sealants. They protect teeth from decay.

What is the best way to brush children’s teeth? If your baby won't open their mouth when it's time to brush their teeth, then try putting a brush in YOUR mouth babies love to mimic you! Open your mouth wide and sing a song. They will either try to copy your singing or they will laugh, but either way, they will have opened their mouth! Sit your baby in the most comfortable position for both of you, try standing or sitting behind your baby as they look up. Be gentle, it isn't necessary to brush firmly at this stage and it may just put your baby off having their teeth brushed altogether!

Should children floss? YES! Flossing removes food particles and plaque between teeth that brushing misses. Children should begin flossing by age 4 with assistance. At age 8, most kids can begin flossing for themselves.

What is fluoride and how do I know my child is getting enough? 6 years


Fluoride is one of the best ways to help prevent against tooth decay. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

combines with the tooth's enamel to strengthen it. In many municipal water supplies, the right amount of fluoride is added for proper tooth development. If your water supply does not contain any (or enough) fluoride, or your child has weakened enamel, your child's paediatrician or dentist may suggest using fluoride drops or a mouth rinse in addition to a fluoride toothpaste.

When should I start using fluoride toothpaste for my child? Fluoride is safe and necessary to keep teeth strong, but only at appropriate levels.

Is it ok that my child sucks his/her thumb? Thumb sucking is normal for infants. Most stop on their own by age 2. If your child sucks his/her thumb beyond age 2, try to discourage it by age 4. Thumb sucking beyond age 4 can lead to crooked, crowded teeth and/or bite problems.

The amount of sugar in common food items: This chart shows just how much sugar is available in foods we eat each day…Food for thought!

Dental concerns facing children born prematurely Evidence shows that children who are born prematurely are more prone to develop dental problems. Baby teeth are most vulnerable however, secondary teeth can also be affected.

Start using toothpaste when your child Most often seen are: is able to spit. Younger toddlers tend • Delayed tooth eruption to swallow toothpaste in excessive • Enamel defects amounts, and this may lead to fluorosis, which causes • Tooth discoloration Remember: discoloration If you ignore • Greater risk of tooth decay of the teeth. • Palatal grooves your teeth And remember, even if they will go • Over crowding your water is fluoridated, away! A child who was born premature you still need to use fluoride should ideally start seeing a dentist toothpaste. Fluoride is necessary / hygienist from years 2-3. This enables in both "topical" forms, like toothpaste, the dentist to build a relationship with and "ingested" forms like water or your child while at the same time fluoride supplements. keeping a close eye on his/her teeth.

What should I do if my child chips, breaks or knocks out a tooth?

References: Caulfield Park Dental Group Australian Dental Association SA Dental service, Health Promotions Unit

1. Contact your dentist immediately.

Paediatric Dentistry of Glen Falls

2. If your child is in pain give a pain reliever. 3. Keep any broken pieces. 4. If a tooth is completely knocked out, handle the tooth as little as possible. Do not wipe or clean the tooth. Ideally put the tooth back into the child’s mouth, have them tuck it into their cheek. Alternatively, store the tooth in water or milk until you get to your dentist.

FURTHER INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FROM THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: general-dental-advice prematurity-resources/supportfor-families/prematurity-articles/ dental-health-care

We’d like to thank the Caulfield Park dentists group for all their assistance with this article. Ph: 03 9523 9058

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Kindly reproduced from: S.A Dental Service Health Promotions Unit Health, The Government of South Australia.


Where are they now?

“I have the absolute pleasure of working with some of the nurses that looked after me. I am particularly close with one of the nurses that looked after me called Rosemary.”

Bernadette’s story


y name is Bernadette Michael. I was born at Westmead Public Hospital 27 years ago, via emergency caesarean section at 27 weeks gestation, and weighing just 630grams. I am the eldest of three girls. My mother had Placenta Praevia. I was in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for over 100 days till I was term. When I was born, I was so tiny that the nurses called me mouse material, and my father could fit his wedding ring all the way up my leg. I never made it to the Special Care Nursery, and was discharged straight from the NICU. My parents couldn’t hold me for weeks. Being a prem, I had most of the same care premature babies do now. I was ventilated, in a humidity crib, on CPAP with crib oxygen and was on low flow oxygen. I had numerous IV cannulas, fluids, medications and blood transfusions. Unfortunately back then there were no such things as central lines, Sucrose or Curosurf. The doctors told my parents that I would probably not make it past the first hour of life, and if I did, I would be a vegetable in a wheelchair and have severe disabilities. Thankfully, I am very lucky. I fought and made it through with very minor health issues. I had a PDA which closed by itself. I have aortic valve regurgitation, asthma, a weak muscle


in my left eye and still bear my “scars of battle”, which are my cannula marks and heel pricks.

Bernadette Born: 1987 Weight: 630g Gestation: 27 wks

Technology within the NICU and SCN today is very advanced compared to 27 years ago. Growing up I went to numerous growth & development and Paediatrician appointments. I was slightly behind at school, but caught up. I finished school, completed the HSC and went to university. I completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree and am now a registered nurse. I work at Westmead hospital in the NICU-the ward where I was nursed back to full health.

wouldn’t change it for anything. I am truly blessed to have great family and friends, especially my parents, and I thank them for all their love and support. I am eternally grateful to the staff of Westmead NICU for nursing me back to full health. Without their excellent care, I wouldn’t be here today. Every day is a little miracle.

I always wanted to give back to the community. I have the absolute pleasure of working with some of the nurses that looked after me. I am particularly close with one of the nurses that looked after me called Rosemary. She is a beautiful person inside and out, and I am blessed for her guidance and support. I often tell parents of premature and sick babies that come into the unit my story. My aim is to give these parents and their families a sense of hope and security. I can say that I have my ‘dream job’. I love what I do and


Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Maddy’s journey


can be impatient with certain things and arriving into this world was no exception. It must have been a huge shock to my mum and dad when I decided to arrive not in November but July! I was born at 26.4 weeks on the 31st of July, 1985. I weighed 894 grams or 1lb 15ozs. I can’t image what it must have been like for my parents. I am glad they kept the faith in me and stayed strong, particularly without the excellent family support that is available today, such as from ‘Life’s Little Treasures’. After dropping to 700 grams, I climbed back up to 2,780 grams or 6lbs 2 ozs by the time I went home. Thanks to the combined efforts of the incredible doctors, nurses and my family, I finally got to go home with my mum and dad on the 30th of October, 1985. I recently graduated from Monash University as a Doctor of Philosophy, in the Geoscience field of volcanology. This marks the completion of a huge journey for me. I enjoyed school very much, however, academically I was never top of the class, wasn’t hugely good at any one thing and sometimes wondered why I didn’t get things as fast as my friends did.

“Everyone’s journey is different and I have got to where I am today with the help of many. Special mention must be to those there at the start, when things were bad and dreams of the future not voiced.” Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Starting university, I wanted to teach biology, however, after taking ‘geoscience’ as a first year elective – I was hooked. I now wonder how anyone would want to study anything else, for understanding how our Earth works to me is simply fascinating. This journey was undertaken at Monash University in Clayton, which is a nice nod to my beginnings in the Queen Victoria Hospital, which later merged with Monash Medical Centre, Clayton. Everyone’s journey is different and I have got to where I am today with the help of many. Special mention must be to those there at the start, when things were bad and dreams of the future not voiced. Thank you to my parents and family, those who supported my parents and those I never got to thank but who saw me through. I hope they can feel my sincere gratitude.

Maddie Born: 1985 Weight: 894g Gestation: 27 wks


Maddie as a new born



Our Services Karen Peters, LLTF Hospital Liaison co ordinator


ince our last newsletter the LLTF team have continued to be busy providing much needed essential support services to families across Australia.

During Global Premature Awareness month Life’s Little Treasures remembered those families that are just beginning their journey in hospital. Food and Fuel vouchers were distributed to families in NICU and SCN enabling parents to concentrate on spending special time bonding with their babies.

Over 70 hospitals are now receiving our hospital handbook A guiding hand for families in NICU and SCN with many taking regular monthly orders. Details of the folder can be found on our website at: Our Books and Bubs program continues to be a success with new hospitals coming on board and supplies of premature clothes, handmade woollen beanies and teddies being sent out. If you would like to donate any books (they must be in good condition and for a child one year and under) then we would love to accept them. Contact me at karen.peters Our focus to educate health professionals about our services and supportive community continues, with connections being made with key health professionals such as Social Workers, Clinical Nurse Coordinators, Nurse Educators, and Maternal Health Centres. Many hospitals now have LLTF resources available through their NICU/SCN and allied health departments. This improved awareness ensures that no family endures the traumatic and life changing experience of having a premature or sick baby without easy access to critical information and community support. We look forward to adding some new services to the list in 2014.

"Many hospitals now have LLTF resources available through their NICU/SCN and allied health departments. This improved awareness ensures ... easy access to critical information and community support." 12

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


Miss Peppa Pig pops in to say hello! During December Peppa Pig very kindly came with us to our annual Christmas morning tea at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and put a smile on a few small faces, not to mention made a few nurses very happy. We were thrilled she could come on the day and bring some extra Christmas cheer. Well done Peppa.

Congratulations to our Ambassador Matt Levy!


e were thrilled when we got the news that our very dedicated ambassador Matt Levey had just been awared a Medal of the Order of Austalia (OAM) as part of the Australia Day 2014 honours list, for his service to sport as a gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. A very deserving receipient, our warmet wishes go out to him. “It is a great honour to be awarded such a prestigious award and one that validates all the hard work I have put in over many years. To be among a small percentage of Australian’s to be awarded this is amazing!” Matt an ex prem himself is passionate about his role with us here at LLTF and about raising awareness of premature births in Australia.

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


How we help

Innovations Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is engaging a global community with 10,500 families in more than 62 countries downloading our two i-phone apps. The greatest uptake has been in Australia, United States, UK and Canada. These apps are a global first for the premature baby community. The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation have had some fantastic media and feedback on the apps from both professionals and families around the world. It seems these apps are filling a much-needed gap in the market.

Download now FREE from itunes or soon through Android stores!

NICU Words The NICU Words app is a glossary designed to provide clear explanations of medical terms, medical machinery and medical roles in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and SCN (special care nursery).

Our Online Resource We are very proud of our website, it is Australia’s leading informative online resource, dedicated to supporting families and professionals who care for babies that are born premature or sick. Providing them with a wealth of information to enable them to get through their journey. For families, the website provides a wide variety of information such as: • Parent stories and photo galleries showing images and detailing remarkable real-life experiences – these are a real source of hope and encouragement for families

For health professionals, our website contains a range of information to assist them in the care of premature/sick babies and their families. It includes: • Listing of community services and resources

• Information on our parent support network

• Do’s and Dont’s for NICU and Special Care staff

• Educational articles on prematurity

• Support in hospital and community.

• Prematurity-related developmental and birth statistics • Guide to community services available to families • Survival guide to NICU and Special Care to help families cope in a world that is new and alien to them • Tips for friends and relatives on how they can help • Informative newsletters covering topics that are specific to premature or sick babies, providing families with up-to-date information and resources • Information on support in the community


Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

The Premature Baby Journal • The Premature Baby Journal app allows families to track their babies’ progress by recording and charting weight, medical statistics, feeding and expressing information and a journal section to record personal thoughts and feelings of the experience. Some of the many features of the app include:

Hospital folder

• Records baby’s birth details • Keep journals for multiple babies • Converts actual age into corrected age (weeks) • Tracks weight, feeding, expressing and temperature in graphs

The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Hospital Folder is a vital resource for any family currently going through Neonatal Intensive Care Units and Special Care nurseries.

• Tracks milestones and allows you to upload photos

It has been developed through a collaboration with parents who have been through this experience together with leading health professionals.

• Records number of feeds, time of feeds, amount of feeds and method of feed

This resource guide is comprehensive, containing critical information that is designed to assist families in the first steps of their journey. It covers areas families can expect to experience during their journey through hospital.

• Records total feeds given to baby per day, number of expresses and amount expressed by mother

Having been through this journey ourselves we know how difficult it can be to navigate your way through and we hope this will assist families and make this part of their journey easier by giving them a guided hand.

• Journal section for parents to record their emotions and feelings

The Foundation believes that education and information for parents is crucial to get the best outcomes for premature and sick babies; it empowers families and enables them to become their child’s advocate. Once they are home with baby, the Foundation has many more resources they can access to assist them with the next step.

• Set reminder for questions to ask during doctor’s rounds in hospital

What’s covered: • Services provided by the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation • Neonatal care explained Download now FREE from itunes or soon through Android stores!

• Practical tips and information • Kangaroo Care • For dads • Coping strategies • Bereavement • Listing of community services and resources. One of our objectives at the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is to ensure that every family going through this journey in Australia has easy access to critical information and support during this period in their life. It is our aim that every family be given this hospital folder as part of resources handed out to them in their time in hospital. Currently we are working with over 70 hospitals around Australia distributing the folder to families in their care, in 2014 we hope to increase this number.

Our Premature Baby Journal app was also voted as a Top 5 app by the Herald Sun in January 2012.

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

To order the folder for yourself or your families or if you have any questions, then please contact Karen Peters via email on or call 0466 406 751

“We are here to provide a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen & a hand to guide you”. 15

Our new event – THE BIG SPLASH

Ready, Set, Splash like Peppa Pig and help Life’s Little Treasures To find out more about this fun event or to REGISTER NOW go to: thebigsplash.

Behind the scenes of the tv shoot

Splashing like Peppa!


n the 10th February we spent the day shooting a new TV ad for The Big Splash campaign. The weather was with us on the beautiful 24 degree day. A handful of Life's Little Treasures families kindly agreed to come along and take part along with our Ambassador Brooke Hanson and her family, Jared, Cooper & Billy. Huge thanks goes to Keith Webb, director of Image Control and Georgia, (www.imagecontrol. who provided pro bono service for the ad and worked so hard to get it ready for us. Have a look and see what you think, we think it’s pretty great!

Peppa Pig teams up with Life’s Little Treasures Foundation to help raise funds for families


e are very excited to announce that Peppa Pig is collaborating with the Foundation for our new campaign The Big Splash, a charity event to raise money for premature and sick babies. From March 1 to April 30 people are encouraged to sponsor children to 'Splash like Peppa' and participate in fundraising by holding splash parties at the beach, their homes or by attending a Big Splash event held by their local pool, preschool or childcare centre, creating as much splash as possible in five minutes. The top 10 fundraisers will win $100 worth of Peppa Pig Zoggs products.

Go to the Life's Little Treasures youtube channel to watch 'The Big Splash! With Peppa Pig and Life's Little Treasures'.


Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Our new event – THE BIG SPLASH

This is the first year of The Big Splash, a Life’s Little Treasures Foundation event in which toddlers & young children are sponsored to splash like Peppa Pig!

The Big Splash is a perfect reason to let the kids splash about. It doesn’t matter where you splash as long as you can have fun with water in support of Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.

Have you registered yet? If you have, you are ready to have fun with your Big Splash Pack. If not, please go to to register and set up your fundraising page. You can: • Host your own Peppa Pig Big Splash event • Join a friend’s Big Splash event • Join your preschool or childcare centre’s Big Splash event • Join your local swimming pool or club’s Big Splash event

This p ack

• Big


ins: Splash • A Pe Invita tions ppa P ig colo • Bunt uring in page Big S g to creat plash e you r own party & mo re

Having fun with your Big Splash Pack • Send invitations for your Big Splash event • Promote your Big Splash with the poster included • Decorate with your very own Big Splash bunting • Colouring sheet for an activity corner • Certificates for all your Big Splash guests

Why not take pictures of your Big Splash?

Seeking sponsors

• facebook/

Use your personal online fundraising page or your Sponsor Me Form to ask friends and family to sponsor you to make as much splash as you can in 5 minutes.

• Share them on Facebook • facebook/lifeslittletreasuresfoundation

Win Peppa Pig Zoggs swimming prizes! The top 10 Peppa fans who raise the most money for Life’s Little Treasures Foundation will win a full range of Peppa Zoggs products, so start fundraising!

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation In Australia, premature birth is the number one killer of newborns and over 45,000 babies are admitted into neonatal intensive and special care units every year. Life’s Little Treasures Foundation works towards a vision where all babies born premature or sick receive the best possible start in life by supporting parents. This is done through the provision of various services focusing on information and peer support, leaving parents free to focus on their baby’s health and enabling them to become their baby’s best advocate. For more information please visit

© ABD Ltd/Ent. One UK Ltd 2003

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Registered charity no 106508 and SC039280


Our new event – THE BIG SPLASH

The Big Splash

media launch

On the 13th February in Melbourne and 20th February in Sydney, we officially launched The Big Splash at events at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) and the Sydney Annette Kellemen Aquatics Centre.

Peppa, Kellie Ellingworth, Taya Phillips and George Angelopoulos from Aquatics & Recreation Victoria(ARV)

Peppa, Brooke and Billy

Melbourne, 13 February 18

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Our new event – THE BIG SPLASH

Sydney, 20th February


edia, including some great mummy bloggers, were invited to attend. In Melbourne, MC of the launch was our ever gorgeous ambassador Brooke Hanson, who is passionate about getting the water safety message out. During each of the launches the kids got to meet Peppa Pig and then to officially launch the event they splashed for 5 minutes in the pool. Lots of giggles and laughing to be heard! Photography by Image Technique. or call (02) 95592806

Amanda with LLTF volunteers and Christie from KidsBusiness

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

The kids had a ball!



Who else has been helping the Foundation lately? LLT dad, Alex

Protecting Life’s National Treasures

Tour To Portsea


n July last year the Foundation and Goodyear tyres launched a partnership to help Australia’s most vulnerable treasures, babies born sick and premature. As part of Goodyear’s 'Protecting Australia’s National Treasures’ campaign they donated $1 from every Goodyear Assurance Triple Max tyre sold across the Beaurepaires and Goodyear Autocare store network across Australia. By the end of the campaign in December 2013, they had raised an amazing $71,000. We can’t thank the team at Goodyear enough for all their hard work, support for the Foundation and caring about Australia’s National Treasures. It truly is a wonderful partnership, one we are both very proud of. Note: If you would like to chat to us about becoming a corporate partner or know someone that would, then please email: nic.mackay@ or call 1300 697 736

Life's Little Treasures Foundation was selected as last year’s Tour to Portsea charity of choice. The ride went from Brighton to Portsea and the members of the team raise funds for a different charity each year and last year LLTF was the lucky recipients of funds raised in November. The grand tally raised was a fantastic $10,000. A huge thank you to Kurt and all the team members of the Tour including our own LLTF dad Alex for working so hard to raise such a fantastic amount.

Alex, Kurt and the Tour To Portsea team who raised $10, 000.

THANK you!

We would also like to extend a big thank you to the following people for their generosity: ★ Vito Fortunato & Luca Fortunato for their amazing contribution which enabled a large prem baby clothing donation to come to the Foundation ★ Kerrie King for donating a very cute Care Flight Bear donation ★ Our Fabulous Knitters: Tania Cain who knitted beautiful blankets and clothing for our prem bubs and to Liz Constable who keeps us in Beanies ★ Andrew Lyle and Zoe Keith from Hall & Wilcox Lawyers for the very generous pro bono assistance on our Big Splash event ★ Loushinie from Aqua Fruit Media ( for all the amazing work she did developing


our new event’s website, The Big Splash ( ★ Mum Deb, who has donated $500, the proceeds from a magazine interview she did recently. We asked Deb why she donated this amount to the foundation and she told us that a few years back we assisted her with her twins, when she was on bed rest and she was forever grateful for that, that she started the prem journey prepared and so wanted to give back to the Foundation so that more families could be assisted. We think that’s a lovely idea, so glad we could provide assistance that made a difference.

★ Sue Chapman, who works for Grace Removals group, they raised $260 for the Foundation by cooking and selling cupcakes at work for Valentine’s Day. What a wonderful idea, big thanks to all who took part and made it a success. To all those who donate to the foundation day in, day out, we couldn’t do it without you, Thank You! Note: If you would like to get involved and fundraise in any way for the Foundation then either go to: get-involved/fundraising or call us on 1300 697 736

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


Troy, Bec and the team presenting the cheque to Life's Little Trasures Foundation.

Anchorage Holiday Park, Iluka, NSW


ast year the very generous Anne & Graeme Lockyer donated a 5 day holiday at their holiday park the Anchorage Holiday park in Iluka. We were so excited to be given the opportunity to present it to a family we thought needed a break after been through a very tough period in their life. Anne and Graeme were amazing hosts and we thank them most sincerely for all they did for our Life's Little Treasures family. A note from the Winning family : We just returned from our week away in Iluka and just wanted to thank you again for choosing us as the lucky recipients of the prize. We all had an amazing week away- the highlights included swimming in the beautiful pool at the Anchorage and having a kiss from a dolphin in Coffs Harbour. The staff at the Anchorage went out of their way to make us feel really special and at home. Thank you again. We made some really special memories as a family. Kind regards, Tamara, Jeremy, Georgia, Niamh, Miles, Elspeth and Beatrix Murdoch. Ph: 02 6646 6210 anchorage.iluka

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Ride for Zane & Bailey Troy & Bec Lovett, Troy did an amazing 130KM ride from Sunbury to Anglesea in memory of his twin son Zane born at 24 weeks in 2011. Troy & four mates did the ride while fundraising for the Foundation and raised a whopping $13,228. We are so grateful to them for such an amazing donation.

Race Track Ralphy We would like to say a huge thank you to Ralph Horrowitz (affectionately known to many as 'Racetrack Ralphy') for kindly donating $1,000 from his Flemington Spring Cup Carnival MC Fee to Life's Little Treasures Foundation. We are extremely grateful for his generosity.


Spotlight on our Marketing & PR Co ordinator, Amanda Stephenson


n November 2009 my husband and I welcomed our twins, Noah & Chloe, into the world at just 30 weeks. Some 4 years later I still remember how difficult it was. The memories of my children’s first few weeks will stay with me forever, it was a time when I felt so vulnerable and alone. To get through it I made a promise to myself that I would find a way to make just one other families experience with premature birth easier than our own. That was the silver lining I stitched into our ‘dark cloud’.

Dads needs time out too...

I became a volunteer with Life’s Little Treasures in 2010 and have now taken on the role of Marketing and PR co ordinator. I believe that through this role I can highlight the work of the Foundation to the wider community and shine a bigger light on the issues surrounding premature birth. I hope this will in turn assist the Foundation in reaching more families across Australia, providing them with the necessary support and help extend our services and reach to the community.

Every year in Australia: • 68,000 children are hospitalised • Around 44,000 newborns require the help of a NICU or SCU • Up to 1,000 babies lose their fight for life In dealing with this trauma, 80% of all parental relationships break down. Men are part of this picture but are often forgotten. Pillars of Strength is a charity that provides 'time out' and support to bereaved dads and to dads whilst their child is sick in hospital.

Shopping for premature babies made easy • 800gm+ clothing • NICU & SCN friendly designs • blankets & wraps • hats, mitts & booties • nappies • soft & wooden toys • gifts for mum

Big thanks to Philippe from Image Technique photography who very kindly provided pro bono services to the foundation for 'The Big Splash' Sydney launch. The pictures were just beautiful and provided us with some great memories of the day. Thanks for all your time and wonderful work. To see Philippe's work go to: or call (02) 95592806

Shop online and have your beautiful gift wrapped parcel delivered anywhere in Australia. 22

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

What's on

Diary Dates Walk for Prems 2014: Sunday 26th October

The Big Splash: March through to April To find out more about this fun event or register to take part go to See our flyer on page 16.

Treasure Time Groups Life’s Little Treasures Foundation organises Treasure Time groups at various venues, details below. This is a great opportunity for parents with premature babies to have a cuppa and chat and meet other parents in a similar situation. victoria

Chadstone/Malvern Dates: 2nd Friday of every month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 10am – 11.30am Venue: Phoenix Park Neighborhood House, 22 Rob Roy Road, East Malvern VIC 3145 Co-ordinator: Rowena Cost: Free Centre Ph: (03) 9530 4397 Centre website:

Traralgon Dates: Last Wednesday of every month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm Venue: Traralgon East Community Centre, Cameron Street, Traralgon, VIC, 3844 Co-ordinator: Rachel (0439 485 882) Cost: Free

Wyndham Dates: Last Friday of every month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 10am – 11.30am Venue: Yerambooee Community Centre, 55 Maple Crescent, Hoppers Crossing, VIC, 3029

It’s back for a fifth year, to make sure you don’t miss out, book it in the diary now. To keep up with Walk news join our walk Facebook page: LifesLittleTreasuresFoundationWalkForPrems

(Directions: Morris Road, Bellbridge Crescent, Maple Crescent). Co-ordinator: Jacki (0448 839 717) Cost: Free Centre Ph: (03) 9748 9310 Centre website:

Ballarat Dates: Last Thursday of every month (commencing Thursday 24th of April) Time: 9.30am - 11.30am Dates: Ballarat City Library, 178 Doveton Street North, Ballarat Central, Vic 3350 Co-ordinator: Andrea Cost: Free Centre website: www. Phone:(03) 5338 6850 TASMANIA

Circular Head Group Dates: 2nd Friday of every month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 10:30am Dates: ANZAC Park Playrooms 33A Kings Street Smithton, TAS 7330 Co-ordinator: Shelley Cost: Free

North West Coast Group Dates: First Monday of every month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 11am Venue: Child & Family Centre, Thorne Street Burnie, TAS (Old Actor Primary School) Co-ordinator: Andrea Cost: Free

Launceston Group Dates: 3rd Wednesday of the month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 10am-12pm Venue: Ravenswood Child and Family Centre, 8 Prossers Forest Road, Ravenswood Co-ordinator: Jenna Cost: Free ACT

Canberra Dates: Last Friday of the month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 10am – 11am Venue: Isabella Plains Neighbourhood House , Ellerston Avenue (opposite shops) Co-ordinator: Sally (0413 311 141) Cost: Free Siblings Welcome Hospitals Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne This provides a great opportunity for parents with babies currently in NICU/ SCU to meet parents who have been through this experience before. These morning teas are only available to parents who currently have babies in NICU/SCN at the hospital

Morning Group Dates: First Tuesday of every month except school holidays/Public holidays Time: 10am – 11am Venue: 4th floor (NICU), Parents Retreat Room, Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne Co-ordinator: Meaghan

Donation towards newsletter cost The LLTF newsletter is designed and printed entirely by the Foundation, we get so many readers that tell us they love to sit down with a cuppa and read it, when it arrives. If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to help us out with its cost then you can donate, using the donate button on the home page of the website Use word 'newsletter' in your payment reference.

Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in the newsletter or do you have an article you think might be suitable for our readers, then please let us know at: contact_us@ lifeslittletreasures.

All donations welcome, thank you. Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies


How you can help

Donate In the past year over 45,000 babies were admitted into neonatal intensive care & special care units throughout Australia. That’s over 115 admissions every day and over 1,300 of these babies weighed less than 1000 grams which is lighter than a bag of sugar!

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s leading charity whose aim is to improve the lives of premature and sick babies by providing information and assistance to their families, and by supporting research. We currently receive no government funding. We rely completely on the kind generosity and donations of individuals and organisations. From the donations we receive, we are able to help hundreds of babies and families through the: • Provision of two world first iApps designed to assist families record information and track baby's progress through hospital and beyond

• Free distribution of our hospital resource folder for parents

Volunteering at the Foundation It is through the dedication of this volunteer network that Life's Little Treasures Foundation is able to consistently remain able to provide these services to families in hospital (neonatal and special care units) and in the community when families come home. Join us as a volunteer.

• Development and distribution of our parent guide and community directory designed specifically for families with babies born premature or sick • Running free support groups in the community and at hospitals • Upkeep of the 24/7 support line: 1300 MYPREMMIE (1300 69 77 36) • Development of a website that has become the premier online resource centre for both families and professionals on all things relating to babies born premature or sick.

We need your help! Please donate now and help us help seriously sick and premature babies and families and choose the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation for your charity donation. There are a number of ways in which you can donate to the foundation which will assist us greatly. Donate online at: Or to find out what other ways you can donate go to:

All donations over $2 are tax deductible. ABN: 94 232 874 269 Thank you for your generosity in supporting our foundation.

The Foundation is very grateful to have to have such a dedicated and amazing team of people who all come from many different walks of life but who all share a common goal and wish to give back to the community. There are many ways in which our Volunteers can assist LLTF such as: • Assisting with Marketing /PR/Design • LLTF Newsletter Production • Parent Support Network If you would • Fundraising events like to find out more • Social Events about volunteering, • Support Groups please call us on: 1300 697 736 • Busy Bee Days • Walk for Prems or email us at: volunteer@ charity fun run/walk lifeslittletreasures. If you are interested in assisting LLTF in any capacity then we would love to hear from you, not all volunteers are required to sit on the committee but certain roles do require a Working with Children Check. Download the volunteer registration form our website at: get-involved/volunteering

Have you changed your address or contact details? To update them please email: contact_us@


Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Supporting Families of Premature & Sick Babies

Life's Little Treasures Foundation Newsletter March 2014  

Feature Article: Dental - Pregnancy Prenatal Care and Oral Healthcare for Children.

Life's Little Treasures Foundation Newsletter March 2014  

Feature Article: Dental - Pregnancy Prenatal Care and Oral Healthcare for Children.