In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


People have been sending me links to the Embrace website. This company have developed a low-technology, low-cost infant warmer for the developing world, and the people who have been sending me links to the website feel quite strongly that God's Littlest Angels might benefit from their product.

I am very thankful to the caring supporters who thought about our babies when they heard about Embrace. I want you to know that I have done some research into the company and their infant warmer. I have learned that the product is not available to buy at this time, as it is yet to undergo clinical trials that will hopefully determe that it is safe and reliable.

At GLA, we are very blessed to have conventional incubators. However, I imagine that the Embrace warmer would be a good back-up for the times when we experience power outages. It would also be useful to have a portable warmer for the trips we make to hospitals and clinics, in order to transport infants to the orphanage.

Having seen many low-birth-weight babies die from 'cold stress', which, caused their organs to shut down, I don't doubt that a product like this would be useful in the remote and rural area of Haiti. I feel convinced of this when I think of our ex-preterm baby, Junes:

Junes came to us as a bug-eyed infant, weighing 2.25 lb. Although he was able to breath on his own, and suck feeds, he didn't have enough body fat to stay warm. For the three weeks that he was living at home, high in the Haitian mountains, he battled hypothermia.

Today, Junes does not grow and thrive on regular infant formula. We don't know for certain that his poor weight-gain today is down to hypothermia in the first weeks of his life, but we do know that during those three weeks that he was cold, all of the energy that should have been used for growth was being used to generate heat. The growth and development of his vital organs would have been affected at that time.

The information on Embrace's website does not answer all of the questions I have about their infant warmer: can infants be swaddled, or nested inside the warmer for example? It is important for pre-term infants comfort and development, that they are positioned, as far as possible, as they would be in their Mothers' womb.

My best guess is that it will be years before the Embrace warmer is available in Haiti. Once the clinical trials have been completed, it will be piloted in India, and then rolled-out to other developing countries. I have joined the company's mailing list to keep up-to-date with developments. It is my hope that their innovative, thermal sleeping bag will save many tiny lives.

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