New Zealand is a world leader in neonatal care with babies born at 24 weeks gestation (16 weeks early) able to be saved and go on to have normal and fulfilling lives
However, in a very small number of cases, not all babies make it. For example, over 1,000 babies are cared for in the Wellington Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) each year. Of these, less than 20 pass away – an incredible statistic given the fact they are caring for the earliest and sickest babies
Baby Loss Awareness Week runs from 9th to 15th October each year. The day after this, The Neonatal Trusts Givealittle campaign to bring the Purple Butterfly initiative to New Zealand ends.
If you wanted to help bring this initiative to New Zealand, you can support here.
Our sincere thanks go to TVNZ Breakfast for helping us to raise awareness with an interview on October 12. You can view the video here.
About the Purple Butterfly initiative
Millie, a neonatal mum in the UK, had a great idea for reducing the stress and anxiety involved in certain neonatal journeys. Millie sadly lost Skye, one of her twins. While still in the NICU there were a few emotional moments that Millie endured that she believed could have been avoided with the use of a consistent sticker. The Purple Butterfly initiative was born . . .
In Millie’s words:
We set up The Skye High Foundation in memory of our daughter. We have since created the Purple Butterfly sticker, which is meant to be placed on an incubator to let people know when a baby in a multiple pregnancy has passed away.
“None of the other parents knew what had happened or anything about Skye,” Smith explains.
“The comment was completely innocent and more out of humour. A parent of twins turned to me, when their babies were crying, and said, “You are so lucky you just have one.’ They weren’t to know that I did at one point have two. But the comment nearly broke me. I ran out [of] the room in tears and they had no idea why. I didn’t have the heart to tell them what had happened. A simple sticker would have avoided that entire situation.”
Jessica Watson, a mother of two surviving triplets who blogs at Four Plus An Angel, explains that the butterfly stickers would have been very helpful for her. “When your baby is in the NICU so many medical professionals come and go and it’s a heart-wrenching process to have to explain that they lost a sibling over and over again,” she says.
To learn more, read the BBC article
More details are available here: www.babble.com/parenting/butterfly-stickers-milli-smith/
Can you help us bring this to New Zealand?
With the blessing of Millie, and working with Multiples NZ, The Neonatal Trust are bringing this great idea to New Zealand. We want to create and distribute professional resources to help parents in the same situation Millie found herself in.
A Givealittle campaign has been created to:
– Make a donation to The Skye High Foundation (to acknowledge the work undertaken to create the resources)
– Create a supply of Purple Butterfly stickers for use in NICUs and SCBUs in New Zealand
– Develop posters, fliers and other resources and distribute these to all neonatal units in NZ
If our target is exceeded, we will put the funds toward:
* our general support of neonatal families. Examples of this can be seen in this gallery
* the production of some new and enhanced resources for parents of multiples. These to be developed in conjunction with Multiples New Zealand
Multiples NZ is the national body for affiliated Multiple Clubs throughout New Zealand. We are a non-profit, incorporated society and volunteer run. Our Mission is to address the diverse needs of families with multiples through networking, education, support and advocacy. Our vision is a community in which everyone involved with twins, triplets or higher order multiples is empowered and supported.