Prematurity leaves parents struck with guilt
- 1 in 10 babies in Australia will be born preterm.
- Prematurity is the number one single cause of death in children in Australia.
- Preterm parenthood is overwhelming and causes feelings of guilt and helplessness.
- During the Miracle Month of May, Miracle Babies Foundation is calling on Australians to help families challenged by prematurity or sickness.
The birth of a child is a miracle, but parents face the stark reality that 1 in 10 (9%) babies are born prematurely. With planning for parenthood being cut short and the mass of medical equipment supporting their baby’s life, parents are left feeling helpless, guilty, and fearing for the survival of their child.
Sadly, 95% of preterm babies spend at least their first 28 days fighting for their life in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) or Special Care Nurseries (SCN). In Australia, 48,000 babies are admitted to these facilities and 38% of those are born prematurely.
In their first few weeks, babies born prematurely can experience breathing, heart or gastrointestinal problems. In Australia prematurity is the number one single cause of death in children. Those who survive can face lifelong challenges and disabilities including cerebral palsy, health conditions, behavioral disorders, and difficulties at school.
These issues affect the entire family unit and without support, this traumatic experience can have lifelong effects on the emotional wellbeing of these miracle families.
“We meet families when they are at their most vulnerable. Through our programs and resources Miracle Babies help them navigate the very scary and clinical world of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As a mother of three surviving babies and spending many months in the NICU, I know how valuable this support is and connecting with others can be just the strength to get you through the next few hours in the NICU,” said Kylie Pussell, CEO and CoFounder.
To care for families navigating prematurity or sickness, Miracle Babies Foundation operates a free support program – NurtureProgram. This program comprises a national 24-hour family support, in-hospital parent to parent support and out of hospital play and support groups and resources to support, educate and empower families through hospital and the transition to home.
During the Miracle Month of May, the Miracle Babies Foundation is calling on Australians to help families challenged by prematurity or sickness, by hosting a Miracle event this May, becoming a regular giver or by making a donation. Visit www.miraclebabies.org.au to help our most vulnerable babies.
A few ideas:
- Host a morning or afternoon tea
- Get active as a team! Run, jog or walk for a great cause
- Host a Mother’s day event
- Fundraise in your community
Miracle Month of May is a time to highlight the work of Miracle Babies and its support of premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals who care for them. With 132 babies are born each day requiring specialised care, we need you to help us help them.
‘My family and I have been attending the Miracle Babies NurtureGroups since June last year and have absolutely loved it. Being able to connect with other families who have been through a similar journey has really helped overcome many mental health struggles I have had. We feel very blessed to be a part of an amazing organisation’. Chelsea (WA)
(Source: Miracle Babies Foundation)