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Pictured: Laura Hakier with daughter Mila on the neonatal unit at Pinderfields Hospital
Today, on World Prematurity Day, Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust has launched a new neonatal library to assist in the communication and neurodevelopment of babies on the unit, thanks to a generous donation of books from Wakefield Council.
Globally, preterm babies (born before 37 weeks) make up one in ten births and for those parents and carers, spending long hours by the side of an incubator, particularly without touch, can be difficult. At this time, reading can be incredibly powerful, having many benefits including:
- helping to form a bond between baby and family, with the familiarisation of voices
- supporting the development of the brain, including visual and auditory systems
- improved physiological signs such as stable heart rate, improved oxygen saturation levels, and reduced incidents of sleep apnoea
- improved feeding and weight gain
- helping families to cope with the difficult experience of having a sick baby.
Besides this launch, in support of World Prematurity Day, the Trust’s neonatal staff hosted a celebration event at Stanley Family Hub to reunite neonatal staff with preterm babies, as well as a bake sale at Pinderfields Hospital to raise funds for the unit, and displayed useful campaign resources including support services and hints and tips on caring for premature babies.
Talib Yaseen, Chief Nursing Officer at The Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust said: “By supporting World Prematurity Day, we hope to raise awareness of the challenges associated with preterm birth, whilst ensuring we signpost families to the right information, advice and support services.
“We’re extremely grateful to Wakefield Council for their generous donation which has enabled us to launch our neonatal library to help families feel more involved in their baby’s care, whilst strengthening their bond.”
Cllr Michelle Collins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “This is a great initiative, and we are delighted to have worked with the neonatal unit at Pinderfields through our Libraries Bookstart programme, to encourage families to start reading with their babies.
“Reading can create shared family experiences and memories, and we are grateful to the support provided by the BookTrust whose book packs and resources we donated to the hospital, to support new parents and babies and help them to spend time together sharing books.”
For information about The Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust’s Neonatal unit, visit: Neonatal unit | Mid Yorks