The 15th of May was officially International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day! To celebrate, St Michael’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) held a raffle and also launched their first ever NICU Coffee Morning event which will now take place every Tuesday at our Cots for Tots House.
So, what is Kangaroo Care? Traditional parent-child bonding can be difficult when babies are poorly enough to require round-the-clock care in an incubator. Kangaroo Care, which traditionally highlights the importance of skin-to-skin contact for premature babies, has been adapted by the NICU teams to play a vital role in building this parent-child bond. Thanks to your incredible support, we are able to fund small, yet crucial, touches which help mums and dads connect with their little ones in a truly stressful time.
The Cuski Miniboo, pictured below being clutched by gorgeous little Daisy is just one of the many Kangaroo Care-focussed items that we fund in the Unit. The Miniboo is an infant comforter that was created to bring comfort and security by stimulating the baby’s awareness of their parent’s unique scent. The Miniboos help with the very important bonding process when mummies and daddies can’t hold their little ones after birth, something even more crucial when you think that smell is the first sense a baby develops.
Zaky Hands are another important part of Kangaroo Care in the Unit. Weighted and hand-shaped, this cushion is placed in the incubator by parents, and calms their babies by making them feel as though they are being held.
Based at our Cots for Tots House, a home-from-home for families of sick and premature babies cared for by NICU at St Michael’s Hospital, the coffee morning is a great chance for families to come together with NICU team members and Family Support Workers to share experiences and chat over coffee and cake. Not just for the parents, their little ones were kept occupied by an array of arts and crafts activities.
The NICU team also held a raffle in the unit’s reception which included some kangaroo shaped biscuits, in keeping with the day, as well as other goodies. Money raised from the raffle will go towards supporting the Kangaroo Care items we purchase for the unit and the families it cares for every day.
A huge thank you goes out to all our Cots for Tots supporters – thanks to you, the unit is able to give sick and premature babies and their families the best possible care.