Neonatal care in the Waikato

Every year, over 1,000 babies are cared for in the Waikato Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

With New Zealands centralised care model, babies who are born at less than 30 weeks gestation, or have serious health needs are transferred from a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) in a regional city, to a NICU. This means babies cared for in the Waikato NICU can be from anywhere in New Zealand. However, it's more likely that transferred babies are from the SCBUs closest to them, ie Tauranga, Whakatane, Gisborne, etc. For reference, here's a Map and a Table showing the number of babies through each neonatal unit in New Zealand

The Neonatal Trust provides support to the families going through neonatal units. Examples of our support for the Waikato NICU include . . .


How we help

Premature Anne training simulation toolsThe Neonatal Trust has supported the Waikato NICU in a number of different ways, including: 

Support with equipment to enhance the clinical care provided
Giving health professionals the right tools to develop and practice their skills is key, and that’s why two ‘Premature Anne’ training simulation dolls were purchased for the Waikato NICU. These are state of the art, realistically proportioned 25 week premature manikins, designed for simulation training for healthcare professionals involved in the resuscitation and care of premature babies. They will provide realistic training experiences and help save the tiniest of lives and reduce the chances of complications.

Read more about these here.


The Neonatal Trust donates tumbleform chairsSupport with equipment to assist the care of the babies - Tumbleform chairs.
The Neonatal Trust donated Tumbleform chairs to benefit parents going through a neonatal journey in Waikato Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Pictured to the right is Regina Marais, Chairperson of the Waikato branch of The Neonatal Trust, handing the chairs over on behalf of the Trust:  

To feed with a naso-gastric tube babies ideally need to be upright and not hunched over which can put pressure on the top of the stomach causing gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux occurs when digested milk with stomach acid in comes back up into the oesophagus causing burning pain. This is very common in premature and medically fragile babies where the muscle that closes the opening at the top of the tummy is weak.

Tumbleform chairs provide the perfect sitting position to allow safe feeding and reduce reflux. Babies remain sitting upright in the chairs for a while after they are fed to allow time for the milk to move out of the stomach into the small bowel. The chairs also allow close contact from the mums and dads during feeds so they can make feeding a positive experience – despite using the NG tube. The chairs will be lent out to any infants going home from NICU.

Read more about these here


MothersDayPack2018_exampleSupport resources
The Neonatal Trust creates Support packs for all NICU parents. These include knitted items, support material and a range of items to assist them on their journey. In addition to the packs, our support resources (that cover key information on focused topics relevant to neonatal journeys) are available digitally and can be easily printed and shared.

To see the resources available, head to www.neonataltrust.org.nz/support

Support and 'Pick-me-up' packs
The Neonatal Trust provides 'pick-me-up' packs for families on key days like Mothers day, Fathers day, and Christmas day. We acknowledge that, while the unit is the best place for the care of their baby (or babies, in the case of multiples) they would love to be home on these days.  

Working with supporting organisations, we organise a range of items (chocolate, magazines, HELL vouchers, etc) and also include hardcopys of our support material - so we brighten their day, plus give them information to make their journey easier.

The Neonatal Trust supports research for increased knowledge and enhanced careNeonatal research
One of the three core objectives of The Neonatal Trust is to aid neonatal related medical research.
This support occurs in a range of ways from direct financial support, purchasing equipment and consumables, organising research participants, through to helping to raise awareness, and more. Neonatal care is a fledgling clinical field and supporting research programmes helps to support all neonatal babies. Supporting research ensures that the very best care is delivered and the long term consequences of prematurity and early illness are better understood. This helps the 5,000 Kiwi babies who are cared for in neonatal units each year in New Zealand - including those cared for in the Waikato NICU. 

An example of this is our support of Dr Max Berry and her team of researchers and clinicians. They are currently undertaking some remarkable work across a range of neonatal research programmes. Their work includes:

  • Looking into how blood transfusions are given and the potential to enhance effectiveness
  • The ‘NIMO for Anaemic Infants (‘NIMO-AI’)’ observational studies that are looking into how treating anaemia (a very common problem for preterm infants) with blood transfusions changes the oxygen levels in a baby’s brain and other organs
  • Researching the effect of nutrition in the first month of life and the long term effects
  • Using data to assess the trends in the long term outcomes for premature babies.

To learn more, head to www.neonataltrust.org.nz/research


And more. . . 

To view a full gallery of support examples, head here


Can you help?

Incubator Miramar New WorldIncubator donation box hosts wanted

We have a Waikato based 'incubator donation box' that we wish to get out and about in the public as much as possible. This is an out-of-service incubator that has been recycled into an awareness and fundraising tool. Do you have an event or busy store/mall/public space where it could be hosted? If you do, or have an idea for us, please contact info@neonataltrust.org.nz 

For more details, head here.
To view and/or download a PDF document with all of the details, head here


Seeking support from your local school
Many schools run fundraisers to support causes, through mufti days, bake sales and coin trails.
We'd love to be considered for support from the schools to help provide our support to those on a neonatal journey.


Can you donate to make more of our support happen?
If you want to help our support of families going through the stress and anxiety of a neonatal journey, you can donate at www.neonataltrust.org.nz/donation  

Please donate and help us provide our supportWe do not receive any Government funding and are entirely reliant on the generousity of individuals, companies and organisations in the form of donations, value-in-kind donations, grants, sponsorship and fundraising events to supplement operating costs and fund our services and initiatives.
As we are a registered charity (CC42886) with Charities Services New Zealand we will send you an IRD compliant tax receipt – this will happen automatically by return email.

If you wanted to help us provide more support like this, you can donate here.


Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners