The Better BedRest Blast





The Blast March 2021 Issue No. 2


Welcome to our 2nd issue of the Better BedRest Blast! It’s a wonderful way to connect with all of you!

Better BedRest had a good holiday season! We noticed this year, in addition to individual donations, we got donations from various Family Donor accounts as well as Family Foundations. This was wonderful. Some of these donors have arranged for BBR to get this donation each year. We invite you to consider this option.  BBR appreciates all the donations we get. Whether large or small, every penny counts.

We continue to work with 211MD for our partnership and encourage you all to learn more about 211. Did you know that 211 services all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada?  211 will connect you to essential community services. We are truly lucky to have this partnership. In this issue, you will find a letter from a past BBR maternal assistance (keep scrolling down)




















recipient. Also, the BBR baby is going to be a father! Check out Zach Reisfeld’s thoughts about this exciting event! Lastly, our board member, Dr. Erica Leventhal, will talk

about a newly developed pacifier that plays music! This sounds like so much fun!

We hope you are all doing well, staying safe and healthy. Let’s hope that by the next newsletter most of you have gotten vaccinated and are moving forward to end this pandemic..



 Joanie Reisfeld

 Founder, BBR


BBR Baby Is Having A Baby: “Birth Stats”

About 31 years ago I was born 10 weeks early at 2lbs 10oz, but many of you reading this will already know that fact. Growing up as the “Better BedRest Baby” makes it pretty hard to forget birth stats, or the fact that I almost didn’t make it at all. Now, 31 years later, I am about to have my own child. Everyone keeps asking if I am excited, nervous, or anxious, but it is hard to sum it up in one word. Coming from a high risk pregnancy and working with BBR for much of my life, I know how scary it can get. The risks and potential complications can be paralyzing. So, back to the question, “Am I excited?” The answer is simple: I am so ready to meet my son, but I won’t quite feel comfortable until I am holding him in my arms, introducing him to others by quoting his birth stats. 

For any current or prospective parents reading this, birth stats are fun, but once early childhood is done, maybe find new ways to introduce your child.

Zachary Reisfeld, Board Member, Better BedRest



I was in a rough place in my life and the staff at BBR were true blessings. It’s the small things that count when you feel you don’t know what to do, where to go, with no one to help and low on options. I was high risk while pregnant with no income.  I was late on bills, and stressed and depressed while pregnant. BBR gave me a $500 grant toward my BGE bill. It wasn’t just about the money but the generosity that they showed and how understanding they were. To know that it was sincere, was what I needed most. Not only do they help with paying specific bills, they also have resources/programs that help with finding jobs, getting food, etc. Anything that you’re unsure about or have questions about, they’re more than willing to help you find an answer. I’m very appreciative of the kind efforts BBR has made for me. I pray that any woman in a similar situation would contact BBR. 




Musical Pacifiers: a beneficial tool for Premature babies in the NICU

Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit have many challenges. Premature infants are born too early to have a suck-swallow-breathe reflex.  In 2012, a professor of music therapy at Florida State University, Jayne Standley, developed a music triggering pacifier that provided positive reinforcement for the sucking reflex.  The pacifier is connected to a sensing cord wired to a specialized machine, manufactured by Powers Medical Devices, that senses the strength of the sucking motion and triggers a Lullaby.  This Pacifier-Activated Lullaby device (PAL) can be adjusted to play music for weaker suck initially then adjusted upwards to promote more vigorous feeding. The PAL stimulates more vigorous sucking in premature infants, especially those born having been exposed to dependent drugs in utero. These particular newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome tend to be more irritable and agitated.  The sounds provide comfort and calm babies so they can rest and have more energy for feeding.   Studies have shown that newborns that use PAL ingest more nutrition and gain weight faster. The faster they grow the faster they can go home.

At Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, use of the PAL device was spearheaded in August 2019 by Kathy Goad, PhD, MSN, RNC, CCRN, Nurse Manager of the Maternal/Child Heath Division.  Kathy reports the NICU staff has used the PAL device with 15 babies.  In this group of newborns, the device has been shown to decrease length of hospitalization by 7 days, decrease the rate of readmission and decrease the need to send babies to assisted care facilities like Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital.  The use of the PAL device is very innovative as no other hospital in the State of Maryland is using it at this time.  Kathy is excited about their progress with the PAL device and she is looking forward to the continued treatment of babies in need of this form of  Music Therapy.

Erica J. Leventhal M.D. 

Medical Director

The Women’s OB-GYN Group

Seton Medical Group OB/GYN Assoc.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Holy Cross Hospital Project

In February, BBR honored women’s healthcare workers at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD for Valentine’s Day.  Once again, some of the folks from the Forest Knolls Knitting Club stepped up to create crocheted goodie bags for the staff.  The contents of the bags included candies, gum, tea, lip balm and hand lotion compliments of BBR.  The bags were delivered to Holy Cross on Feb. 12 and distributed to the staff as a show of support for their dedication to women’s healthcare. Special thanks to Sarah Walker, Manager of Volunteer Services at Holy Cross Health, for her help in coordinating this effort.

**If you are considering a donation to Better BedRest, you can visit our website at or participate in AmazonSmile. Shop at and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to your favorite charitable organizations.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated!