May 2015 YahooNews; Almost 2 million babies die the same day they’re born. For those pre-term babies who struggle to stay warm, incubators can be lifesaving. But the pricey technology and medical assistance are out of reach for many mothers of children at risk in the developing world. That’s why the Miracle Blanket-esque portable Embrace Warmer that Jane Chen created with her classmates at Stanford University’s MBA program is such a game changer.
Since the product — which costs 1 percent of an incubator’s U.S. price tag and keeps infants warm without electricity — was introduced in 2008, Chen says more than 150,000 babies worldwide have been saved from becoming another statistic. The innovator, who moved to India after graduation and worked there for four years to further develop and distribute Embrace Warmers, tells Yahoo Parenting about the “tremendous experience” of seeing the impact of her product first-hand — and bringing the benefits home to parents in the U.S.
“India has 40 percent of all the world’s premature babies, due to factors including maternal nutrition and women giving birth at very young ages,” says the co-founder, now based in San Francisco. “I would travel village to village, and meet mothers who’d lost their babies, and it was the same story every time. They didn’t have the resources to get to the hospital and needed something that they could use in their village.”
With an Embrace Warmer, the tiny tots get the benefit of incubator warmth and a chance. “No matter how many times you see a baby in our device it never gets old,” says Chen. “It’s so miraculous to know you’re helping this life.” Working with an orphanage in Bejing at one point, she says, a 2-week-old baby found abandoned in the street was warmed in an Embrace for 30 days. “Then seven months later I visited him and he was healthy.”