Wests supports Miracle Babies work with sick and premmie bubs
Wests Group Macarthur is honoured to be able to continue to support Miracle Babies Foundation – Australia’s leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them. Each year, more than 48,000 babies require specialised care, with Liverpool and Campbelltown hospitals having upwards of 1053 admissions in the last year from South West Sydney alone. In what is already a difficult time for families, Covid-19 has presented new challenges for families requiring additional care and access to support.
Since the pandemic started, Neonatal Intensive Care Units and Special Care Nurseries have been restricted to only parent visitors, often only one at a time. Traditional support networks (grandparents, other family or friends) or Miracle Babies peer support workers cannot visit them in the hospital, which places additional pressure on the parents who cannot rely on others to relieve them so they can take some time out. Grandparents and siblings cannot visit their new baby, often for many weeks or months after they are born. It is exhausting and isolating for parents.
In addition, COVID has exacerbated the anxiety and risk of mental health issues which is already much higher in parents with babies born premature or sick. In a recent Miracle Babies survey of parents about the impact of COVID, 79.8% of families stated that their parental anxiety has increased in relation to COVID-19 and 57% reported feeling concerned about their parental mental health. 90.3% considered their child to be in the vulnerable group related to the pandemic, and 77% were less likely to seek medical treatment for non-COVID-19 reasons due to a fear of being in a medical centre or hospital.
The range of resources funded by Wests Group Macarthur via a $10,000 ClubGRANT contain tools and information to support families through the challenging, life-changing journey a premature or sick baby brings, to increase their knowledge, confidence and feeling of control, provide comfort, and foster mental health and wellbeing. These include NICU Survival Packs, Emergency Care Packs, Milk Express Packs and Grad Bags and provide families with the benefit of peer support and nurturing through carefully created, informative and thoughtful resources developed by others who have been through the same experiences.
As one mother has put it: “The NICU Survival Pack was amazing – such a blessing to be given something to say ‘Others are walking this road with you’.
If you are interested in Miracle Babies mark your calendar for World Prematurity Day, 17th November – one of the most important days in the year to raise awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally. Every year in Australia, 27,000 babies are born premature (before 37 weeks). Babies born premature can face many challenges and are at increased risk of disabilities, developmental delays and behavioural challenges. A donation to Miracle Babies provides emotional support to a family with a premature or sick newborn, along with access to vital education and support resources that will assist parents and their children challenged by prematurity at every stage, even up until adulthood. Donate at http://www.miraclebabies.org.au. $143 provides full support to one more family during their hospital journey.
Registrations are also open for the next Miracle Moon Walk! Sign up and walk as the sun sets and the stars emerge on Saturday 26th March, 2022 (Sydney CBD). A fun and casual night walk to raise much needed funds to support the work of Miracle Babies Foundation. Find out more: www.miraclemoonwalk.com.au.
Special thanks to Miracle Babies Foundation for their dedication and for continuing to deliver incredible support to premature and sick newborns and their families.