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Ann's special pillow a comfort for babies; Nurse's butterfly design to be used all over Europe.

Byline: JANINE YAQOOB

A 'BUTTERFLY' pillow designed by a Liverpool nurse is soon to be used all over Europe to improve the care and development of babies.

Ann Parry, a neonatal nurse at Liverpool Women's Hospital, came up with the idea of the special pillow while nursing premature babies.

After more than 30 years as a neonatal nurse, Ann, 56, has a wealth of knowledge about caring for premature and sick babies and used her experiences to design the prototype.

In addition to making tiny and very sick infants more comfortable, the pillow, designed like butterfly wings, will help to keep their airways open.

It will also prevent a condition known as head flattening which premature babies can develop through lying for too long in the same position.

Mum-of-two Ann, of East Prescot Road, Knotty Ash, said: "It's all about nurturing the environment in which we nurse our babies, trying to make them as comfortable as we can.

" I had thought for a long time about a way in which we could give their heads better support" Ann, who received the top award for research at Liverpool Women's Focusing on Excellence awards ceremony, said that while still in the womb a baby's brain grows rapidly in the last three months of pregnancy.

"The brain is very large and heavy in relation to the body but is cushioned in the amniotic sac. However, if the baby is born prematurely the head is no longer cushioned by the amniotic fluid and the baby, who cannot move because of immaturity, lays on a relatively firm surface where the effects of gravity cause the head to become flat.

"Prevention and reduction of this is vital for a number of reasons including the attractiveness of the baby, the baby's comfort and the prevention of later problems where babies may experience difficulty feeding and in turning their heads to develop normal hand-eye co-ordination."

YOUR Email Neonatal staff have previously used a rolled up nappy underneath the neck to help in the positioning of babies and to maintain a clear airway. But this did or write 48, Old Liverpool not give them as much support and comfort as the butterfly pillow.

Ann worked with the Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust's Research and Development team to develop her pillow, which has been patented and is the Trust's first product to be commercially developed.

Ann said: "The driving force behind my work is the hope of making a difference for the future progress of developmental care in the UK. I am determined through my project to make a brighter future for all the babies in our care.

"I would like to thank our developmental care team and the research and development team for their fantastic support.

"I would also like the thank our League of Friends who gave me pounds 200 towards my project research."

CAPTION(S):

HELP: Nurse Ann Parry, of LiverpoolWomen''s Neonatal unit, with her butterfly pillow. Ann, from Knotty Ash, invented the prototype to make premature and sick babies more comfortable and to keep their airwaves open.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 13, 2012
Words:511
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