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Maternity is the only time in the hospital when a patient is expected to care for another patient.

The AEGIS wrap safely facilitates vital skin to skin bonding immediately after birth and reduces the risk of accidental infant falls.

Photo of Mary Chiesa
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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

The AEGIS Wrap is for all mothers/babies (fathers/partners) to bond skin to skin immediately after birth, at home, and in the NICU for kangaroo care. Remove the archaic hospital gown during labor and put on the AEGIS wrap. Mother is comfortable and covered in the tube top style wrap that quickly zips up the left side. Baby is placed snuggly in the AEGIS wrap skin to skin immediately after birth to safely bond with mother or other parent/caregiver. Baby is safe and mother is relaxed. .


The AEGIS Neonate Medical Wrap is a general wellness product that innovates labor and delivery by safely facilitating vital skin to skin bonding immediately after birth and reducing the risks of accidental infant falls.

What does the name mean?

AEGIS [ee - jis] - is the shield of Athena the goddess of wisdom and innovation. She uses AEGIS to protect herself in battle.  Childbirth is a mother’s battle and our AEGIS wrap is her shield to protect her baby after birth.

How does it work?

The AEGIS wraps around the torso of the mother (or father/caregiver) and the neonate in a chest to chest position as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and fastens on the left side with 2 sets of eye hooks and a zipper. An additional shoulder strap can be lifted up over the right shoulder for added support when wearer is standing or walking. This allows the wearer to bond skin to skin with neonate safely hands-free, reducing the risk of accidental falls.

Why is the AEGIS Neonate Wrap Needed?

Mother and neonate skin to skin bonding during the first hour after birth has been proven to provide many health benefits for mother and baby.  This first hour is referred to the Golden Hour or the Sacred Hour.  The timing is of greatest importance.

The Sacred Hour. Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth

464 U.S. hospitals hold the Baby Friendly qualification and practice immediate skin to skin bonding for neonate and mother after birth.  These hospitals also encourage breastfeeding and neonates stay by and are cared for by their mothers during their entire hospital stay. Approximately 4 million babies are born in the U.S. each year. 32% are born via cesarean which is a major abdominal surgery and 40% are born to unmarried mothers.  For mothers who had cesareans, this could be a 4 to 5 day hospital stay and recovery from a major abdominal surgery.  For unmarried mothers, this could mean they do not have  assistance like a married patient.  

Mothers are required to care for their newborns around the clock.  Sleep deprivation, pain medications, hormonal changes, and recovery all cause extreme drowsiness. Mothers are falling asleep and accidentally dropping their babies or the babies are rolling into the bedding and suffocating. 

A Comprehensive Newborn Falls Strategy: The First Two Years

Balancing Family Bonding with Newborn Safety

How will patients access AEGIS wraps for their childbirth experience?

Hospitals. Hospitals will purchase the AEGIS Neonate Wraps and keep them in inventory to be used with each maternity patient. Hospitals will seek reimbursement for the AEGIS wrap from insurances when appropriate.

Website. The AEGIS Neonate Wrap can be purchased directly by a consumer through the SAPLACOR website.

AEGIS ReWrap Program. Once patients are done with using the AEGIS Neonate Wrap, they can return the wrap (in the poly envelope provided) to SAPLACOR. All used wraps will be inspected for wearability, washed, and sent to non profits to be distributed to women who do not have access to quality care. 

Scale and Partnerships

The AEGIS wrap is manufactured in Sri Lanka, and will eventually be manufactured by the same company in their North Carolina factory.  This manufacturer is a large scale manufacturing business and can produce 90,000 wraps per month.  We will partner with hospital groups to meet the needs of their maternity patient populations through a team of representatives.  We will work with non-profit organizations to distribute the used wraps to maternity populations across the globe to meet the needs of mothers who do not have access to quality care.

Value Propositions

1. Decrease Risk Exposure. Injuries caused by accidental infants falls are the financial burden of the hospitals since insurance will not cover the costs to treat injuries that are considered preventable. The financial risk exposure can vary greatly to treat injuries. Lawsuits as a result to an infant injury or death can cost millions. As evidenced in the lawsuit  Thompson v. Portland Adventist Medical Center. A mother was woken in the middle of the night after delivering her baby via cesarean delivery to breastfeed her baby.  She informed the nurse she was too tired and the nurse told her to breastfeed and she fell asleep. Her baby rolled onto the side of the bed and suffocated to death. She is suing for $8.6 million.  It is not just the financial loss but all the negative press that damages a hospital’s reputation.  

2. Decrease Accidental Infant Falls and Suffocations. By providing a safer practice of the skin to skin bonding experience hospitals can reach their breastfeeding goals and decrease the risk of accidental infant falls. Decreasing infant falls will save the hospital money and resources from treating preventable injuries.  A reduction of falls decreases the emotional toll these incidents have on hospital staff, families, and patients.

3. Increase Breastfeeding Rates. The concept behind the Baby-Friendly hospital practices is to increase successful breastfeeding rates and bonding between mother and baby. Breastfeeding has many health benefits for mother and baby that can last a lifetime. 

4. Increase Patient Satisfaction. Hospitals want to provide a caring and safe experience for their patients. When patients feel cared for and their needs are met, they are happier and more relaxed. Nurses are doing the best they can to provide a safe and caring environment with the resources available to them. 

5. Decrease Nurse/Caregiver physical and emotional fatigue. Nurses can care for a number of couplets (mother and baby).  Typically, the ratio of postpartum nurses is 3 couplets, a total of 6 patients to one nurse.  The responsibilities on the nurses pull them in many directions every hour of their shift in that each patient receives less than 10 minutes of the nurse’s attention per hour.  When nurses cannot meet the care needs of patients who are hormonal, exhausted, and in pain it creates emotional stress on the nurses and patients. These demands cause decreases in the nurse’s effectiveness and create physical and emotional fatigue.  AEGIS facilitates safe hands-free skin to skin bonding which is proven to relax mother, soothe baby, increase breastfeeding rates.  More relaxed patients, and less crying infants may help reduce the emotional and physical stress on the nurses/caregivers.

6. Positions the Hospital as a Leader in Safety and Innovation. Women have been delivering babies in hospital gowns for generations.  They are archaic and cumbersome.  American women do not want their bodies exposed so they wear the gown simply because that is the way hospitals have been doing it for years.  It’s time for a change. It’s time to make mother’s comfort a priority. It’s time for AEGIS.  The practice of immediate skin to skin bonding is a good practice that yields many health benefits for mother and baby.  AEGIS is the safer way to perform that practice.  The Baby Friendly practice intentions are good, however, the large number of cesareans, and use of pain medication in America create a dangerous situation when exhausted, medicated mothers are expected to care for their babies around the clock.  AEGIS provides support for all mothers to bond and care for their babies.

At what stage is your idea?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We have sent 15 wraps to nurses primarily in labor and delivery and the NICU to sample with patients and provide feedback and user experience. We have conducted wear tests with 12 trial participants who have completed experience surveys. We have presented the AEGIS wrap to the UCSF Pediatric Device Consortium for feedback and evaluation.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We would like to conduct a series of clinical trials with controls for periods of 90 days to obtain impact of AEGIS and compare outcomes.

Tell us about your work experience:

I was an interior designer for 14 years. I became a surgical tech, and worked in Labor and Delivery for over 8 years at Sutter Health and Kaiser. When you mix a interior designer and a hospital setting your bound to get a few improvements.

This idea emerged from...

  • An Individual

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • yes

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • yes

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no

How would you describe this idea (in 2-3 sentences) while in an elevator with someone?

We are innovating the childbirth experience by facilitating safe skin to skin bonding immediately after birth in the OR and the delivery room with the AEGIS Neonate Wrap. Mothers are exhausted, and often medicated for pain, if they fall asleep while breastfeeding or holding baby it can cause an accidental fall or suffocation. The AEGIS wrap securely supports the newborn to reduce the risk of an infant fall.

What is the specific problem your idea is trying to solve? 1 sentence.

The problem the AEGIS Neonate Wrap solves is the issue of infant injuries in the hospital setting as a result of unsecured skin to skin bonding or an exhausted mother accidentally falling asleep while holding baby and dropping him.

How has your idea improved or evolved throughout the Refinement Phase?

We met with two mentors who helped us focus on the core benefits of our product and how to best move forward to communicate our mission.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

We will conduct clinic trials during 90 day periods to measure reduction in infant injuries and patient experience satisfaction.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

Our immediate next steps after the challenge are: 1. Prepare and conduct our clinical trials. 2. Finalize and launch our doula/lactaction consultant affiliate program for retail sales. 3. Finalize our marketing plan for 2018. 4. Prepare our value proposition and pitch for hospital sales.

How is your idea different or unique from what is currently on the market?

Our AEGIS Neonate Wrap is different from other baby carriers as it is a general wellness product and intended to be used immediately after birth to up to 3 months or 14 pounds. It has X-Static Silver Technology thread knitted throughout which acts as a thermo-regulator and provides the AEGIS wrap with antimicrobial/anti-odor properties to protect the fabric from odor-causing bacteria.
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Aegis allows mom to be hands free and rest assured


Join the conversation:

Photo of Latiesha Bells

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Mary Chiesa 

The ideas phase closes on Nov 5 at 3:00pm PST. Please reach out to me if you have any questions at all.

Photo of Mary Chiesa

Thank you Kate! I have answered the refinement questions, uploaded a user feedback video and we are wrapping up our user experience journey and will post it shortly. We are excited for the next phase of the challenge.

Photo of Lauren Ito

HI Mary Chiesa ,

Congrats again on advancing to the Refinement Phase of the Challenge! In this portion of the Challenge, we encourage you to develop, refine, and polish your concept so your progress and next steps are clearly articulated to our community!

A few questions we have about your concept, what percentage of births is this a concern? How do you envision enrolling this product in the delivery rooms?

Excited to hear more!

Photo of Mary Chiesa

Hello Lauren!

Every birth in the hospital setting has safety risks based on the current practices. Mothers who are medicated for pain management have an increased risk of falling asleep while breastfeeding or holding her baby due to the overwhelming drowsiness pain medication and breastfeeding cause. According to the CDC, in 2015, 3,978,497 babies were born in the U.S. 40% were born to unmarried mothers and 32% were via cesarean delivery. This data suggests high populations of women who may not have the support of a partner parent and also a high percentage of mothers recovering from cesarean delivery which is a major abdominal surgery with a typical hospital stay of 4 to 5 days.

Our vision for the AEGIS Neonate Medical Wrap is to completely innovate the birth experience with AEGIS being used in the standard protocol (incorporated in standing Physician orders for vaginal and cesarean births). In a cesarean birth the AEGIS wrap will be placed under mom on the OR table and baby will be secured to mom in the wrap immediately after birth (after standard procedures are completed). In a vaginal delivery, the hospital gown will be taken off mom (which is cumbersome and archaic) and AEGIS will be put on mom just prior to pushing. This allows for the AEGIS wrap to acclimate to the mothers body temperature and will keep her from feeling exposed. Once the baby is born (and standard post birth procedures are performed) baby will be placed and secured in the wrap with mom.

Hospitals will purchase the AEGIS wraps directly from SAPLACOR. Our AEGIS wrap is a pediatric therapeutic restraint, a injury prevention medical device and should be covered as medically necessary and included in the patient's insurance claim. We have already submitted our regulatory pathway for FDA Clearance and should receive our response any day now. Our manufacturer can produce and deliver several thousand wraps each month.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Mary,

Congratulations on making it to the refinement phase!

Please tag me here with questions using '@' followed by my name (Kate Rushton).

Photo of Mary Chiesa

Thank you Kate! We are excited to be a part of this challenge.