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Why Monitoring Matters to a Former NICU Mom

Why Monitoring Matters to a Former NICU Mom

Owlet's mission is to empower parents to give care at home. Owlet Cares supports our overall mission through advocacy, charitable and research initiatives that support families and communities. We partner with nonprofits all over the world who share our mission. These groups participate in our 3:1 match program. When they purchase one Owlet product, we match it with two, meaning three families are reached.

Each month, we shine a spotlight on one of our foundation partners and the important work they are doing. This month, we’d like to introduce you to Silvie Bells of Florida, an organization founded in honor of Silvana “Silvie” Quinn Smith. Silvie’s mom, Jennifer, the founder of Silvie Bells, shares her family’s story. 

By: Jennifer Oliver Smith

Overjoyed. Thankful. Hopeful.

Those are just some of the ways I’d describe my reaction when I heard that Owlet received FDA clearance for two devices this year. 

As a veteran NICU mom and current advocate for NICU parents across the country, I know first hand the peace of mind that comes with empowering parents to provide the best care for their baby and it is truly my honor to help spread that awareness through Silvie Bells, a foundation named in honor of my daughter. 

Eight years ago, our daughter Silvana Quinn (Silvie) was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck combined with meconium in her lungs (meconium aspiration). This combination led to severe PPHN - Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn; a life-threatening illness. Silvie was transported from her birth hospital to Salah Foundation Children's Hospital at Broward Health in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This Level 3 NICU had a team of nurses, doctors and therapists that worked on Silvie day and night.

Silvana was given a 10% chance of survival.  There were countless sleepless nights where we held our breath until the morning, not knowing if Silvana would survive the night. 

During that impossible time, I made a promise to both myself and to Silvie: "If Silvie survives, I will pay it forward". Throughout December and January, Silvie fought for her life and was finally discharged January 31, 2016. 

That September, I learned of NICU Awareness Month and remembered my promise to give back. I thought about the holidays being just around the corner and I remembered how horrible it was having our Silvie in the NICU throughout December and January. That is when it hit me, my “give back” would be to parents with babies in the NICU during the holidays. I would give the parents in our NICU the things that helped us along our journey.  An Owlet monitor was at the top of the list of items to donate to NICU families.

As we approach 2024, Silvie Bells has gifted hundreds of Owlet monitors in our comfort packages to NICU families in need across the country. 

This year, we are excited to include FDA-cleared Dream Sock® in our packages! The peace of mind that comes with being able to have insights about your baby at home is priceless, and being able to share this with other parents is so fulfilling. 

The NICU is a difficult road - likely the most difficult any parent has ever been down. You will navigate challenges you never dreamed of and you’ll find strength you didn’t know you had. As you weather these challenges, know that you are not alone and there are resources available to help you navigate life outside of the NICU. 

It is truly my family’s honor to walk this journey with you, and to partner with Owlet in providing support as you navigate the transition home so you can focus on what matters most - time with your baby. 


Author Bio: 

Jennifer Oliver Smith is the founder of Silvie Bells, a NICU nonprofit that donates care packages to NICU families in honor of her daughter, Silvana, who spent significant time in the NICU after being born. 

In 2016, Silvie Bells delivered 65 comfort packages to Salah Children's Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where Silvie spent her first months.  Two more hospitals were added in 2017, and by 2019, Silvie Bells gifted comfort packages to four area hospitals during the holidays.  However, in 2020, Silvie Bells was unable to deliver packages in person due to COVID-19.  A pivot was needed, Silvie Bells changed the mission from delivering care packages to area hospitals during the holidays to shipping care packages nationwide, all year round. 

In addition to operating Silvie Bells, Jennifer is a native Floridian, a realtor, a partner to Caleb and a mother to 8 year old Silvana.  She is an Owlet Cares Foundation partner and serves on the Advisory Board of Around Wellington Magazine. 


*The quotes, stories, and experiences included here are those of the individuals and are not representative of Owlet's views or claims about our product. Individuals were not paid and did not submit their information as part of any paid promotion by Owlet. The content provided on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have and to learn more about your child's specific needs.

Disclaimer: FDA-cleared Dream Sock® is intended for healthy infants age 1-18 months and weighing 6-30 lbs. Dream Sock is intended to track babies’ heart rate and oxygen level and keep parents informed but it is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or other condition including, but not limited to, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and/or Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).