Every month one of our local board members makes a trip up to NICU to talk to parents and whanau about our NICU and prematurity ‘journey’ from a ‘parent that has been there’ point of view. This has been increased in frequency from bi-monthly in 2014 to monthly this year and is very well attended by parents, grandparents, whanau and friends who all really appreciate the time to talk about their personal circumstances and to ask questions of someone who has been through similar experiences and ‘graduated’ from NICU. An added bonus is the yummy cupcakes we bring along to share each month and the contact information we can provide for specialist organisations that are able to help families, as well as information from The Neonatal Trust of the NICU journey and beyond.
Each time we go in for one of our talks, we also bring along a batch of home-made ‘lactation aid cookies’ that are delivered to the lactation consultant. These are baked by volunteers and each batch delivered is about 150 cookies, packed into bags of three (which is the recommended daily consumption). The lactation consultant in NICU then hands them out to mums who need them. You can also find the recipe for these cookies here, and they also freeze incredibly well!
With winter fast approaching, merino fabric has again been purchased for our volunteers to use sew up more merino wraps, which are given to families of long term/ level 2 & 3 babies in their discharge packs. These are incredibly popular and a brilliant alternative to fleece fabrics which do not ‘breathe’ and can become too warm and clammy for little babies who are unable to regulate their own body temperature.
We have also purchased Countdown voucher cards for the social worker to stock the food cupboard and to host Friday morning breakfasts, as well as to stock the pantry cupboard with meal options for those mums who have not been able to bring in their own meals to see them through the days that they are spending in NICU.