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World Prematurity Day is a chance for our colleagues in special care to raise awareness of prematurity, how they help families they meet and to reunite with some of their former little patients and see how they are getting on after leaving the unit.
World Prematurity Day, November 17, is a chance for our colleagues in special care to raise awareness of prematurity, how they help families they meet and to reunite with some of their former little patients and see how they are getting on after leaving the unit.
On the Special Care Baby Unit there were purple decorations and displays, the colour used to mark World Prematurity Day internationally. Gifts and cards were provided too for every family who visited on the day by Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity and SCBU colleagues.
On the day, we went onto the ward met Ruby and Josh who have just welcomed twins Ivy and Luna into the world. We asked about their experience of premature birth: 'The twins came at 30 weeks and five days. I went into labour very unexpectedly: I was at my baby shower!' Ruby started. 'Ivy's waters had broken without me knowing, and they tried to slow labour down but with no success. By 3AM, I'd given birth'. The team at SCBU have been a great support for the couple as they begin their first foray into parenthood: 'They've been like fairy godmothers. We feel like we are winging it but they are there helping us learn and supporting us. The only thing we know that they don't is which twin is which! We've learned to take it day by day, don't make plans... some days will feel like a backwards step but we will get there and we will go home with the girls when they are ready'.
Special Care Baby Unit Nurse Team Leader June Adams reflected on the experiences that the team see in special care and how it makes colleagues : ‘Some families spend months on special care. They and their babies go through very tough times physically and emotionally. It’s so important to recognise and remember these times and celebrating these amazing journeys. We are so proud of all our families for their strength and resilience'.
Later, an afternoon of fun was held at the Big Apple Play City. The event at the local play centre in Rotherham was well attended by former little patients, their families and friends despite the weather making it a challenging trip out. Cakes and refreshments were provided by local businesses and the room was full smiles as our colleagues took the opportunity to reunite with some of their former little patients. Nursery Nurse Julia Wing helps coordinate the event and felt it was a great success: ‘What an amazing turn out of families we have had….there were over 100 on a very rainy day! Seeing all the amazing babies and families again was such a treat for us all and we even got to meet some new additions we hadn’t yet met. SCBU is such a brilliant place to work… to have the privilege to touch so many families lives is such an honour to us all, when we talk about being part of a family it really is just that, a unique little bubble! We will look forward to next year’s celebrations’.
The view was shared by the attendees of the afternoon too. We previously spoke to Stacey about the birth of her daughter, Emily. She came along with her partner John and Emily to the event: ‘We would definitely come along again. I didn’t know what to expect because we haven’t been before but it’s been a really fun, friendly afternoon! Like all the colleagues have said, we want Emily to remember the Special Care Baby Unit and the work they do for babies like her. I can’t say enough good things about them. The way they’ve looked after our miracle baby? They deserve a medal!’
Below, the SCBU team dressed in purple to celebrate the event.