How a Plastic Sandwich Bag Can Save Preemies

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Image via Flickr/ bradleyolin

Do you know what a greenhouse is? Of course you do. Do you know what a greenhouse does? Maybe not. To be honest, I wasn't 100% what greenhouses were for, but I've done my research, and I want to give you a little science lesson. I promise, it'll all be worth it.

A greenhouse is built so that plants can be grown year round; it keeps the sun's relatively warm rays trapped inside the greenhouse, maintaining warm air, giving the plants a nice little environment to grow in.

When premature babies are born, their skin is so thin because, just like the rest of their little body, it is underdeveloped, so it's pretty difficult for them to maintain body heat as well as full-term babies. Also, babies don't get chubby until they start getting fed breast milk or formula, so they have basically no insulation from the cold. It's a stark difference from the baby's tight confines of the womb that he or she has been hanging out in for that past couple of months.

{ MORE: Special Needs of a Premature Baby }

So in order to keep the little people warm, they put them in plastic sandwich bags. No, they don't put the babies in a ziploc bag and close it up over their heads. The doctors just use the bags that have the little flap on the outside, and their heads are left uncovered. Dr. Bill Yoxall, Clinical Director of Neonatology at Liverpool Women’s Trusts, told the Daily Mail that the “[plastic sandwich bag] stops moisture evaporating from the skin and provides a ‘greenhouse' effect to keep the baby warm.”

How cool is that!?

With as scary of a thing that is a prematurely born child, being able to take care of him or her and raise his or her body temperature by using something that isn't thousands of dollars and can be found in any kitchen is actually pretty cool. 

{ MORE: Risks and Reasons for Premature Birth }

Do you know of any treatments that are done non-conventionally with non-conventional products? I'm interested, so let me know!

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How a Plastic Sandwich Bag Can Save Preemies

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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1 comment

  1. Heather says:

    That is great I have three preemie nieces one was under 2 lbs she is in 5th grade now and doing very well. The other two are twins one under 3 lbs and the other just over 3 lbs. They are three now I didn’t know they used plastic bags I’m sure they were in them and I am thankful because they wouldn’t be doing as well as they are if it wasn’t for a plastic baggy. I will never look at one the same again. Amazing just amazing!

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