With four children of my own I have at first hand experienced the excellent work that the NHS does in their neonatal intensive care units (NICU) across the country.
We spent 5 days with one of our boys in intensive care and a lasting memory of the NICU ward we were in was the sight of about 20 premmie babies ( some as early a 30 weeks) all wired up and fighting hard to make their journeys from high dependency. Importantly the vast majority (98%) go on to live healthy and happy lives.
One of the wonderful things to watch was the mothers and fathers sitting day in day our next to their babies. Our boy was not premature but had other complications so we were startled by just how big our little man was compared to these other tiny tiny babies, often just 30cm’s long!
We felt exhausted but lucky for lots of reasons when we left but mainly because our experience was only a few days long where as may of these parents would be here for 2- 3 months. On top of that we didn’t have to worry about simple things like clothes as Joseph was in newborn baby-grows like the majority of babies born at full term.
For parents in NICU dressing your child is one of the few opportunities you are given to be in contact with your baby. But how do you dress a premmie because unsurprisingly the newborn baby grow is like putting a 2 year old in a sleeping bag, just huge and simply reinforces the visual impact of how much care and nursing your child is going to need before she is able to wear regular clothing.
Thats why my chosen charity for this month is PopnGrow, a charity that makes clothing for premmies. Their concept, is based on the principle that a parent can feel the emotional and physical attachment to their unique and wonderful baby with the simple action of dressing.
All clothing is made not just with neonatal and hospital experience’s in mind; but with the knowledge and cooperation of NHS staff, who advise them regularly of equipment updates and changes to needs.