Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Dubai mothers of premature babies create ‘survival guide’ to aid families

The 30-page booklet is available on email to anyone who requires information.

DUBAI // ‘Dear new NICU mom,’ are the opening words of a ‘Survivor’s guide in Dubai’s NICU’ being worked on by mothers of premature babies to help families understand everything from strict hygiene rules to the beeping machines in a neonatal intensive care unit.

The 30-page booklet is available on email to anyone.

Using photographs, diagrams and personal stories, the guide explains to mothers not to wear perfumes or cologne that could harm the infants, remove the flash from a camera, keep mobile phones away from the baby, common health problems the child could suffer and surgeries that may be required. It also has details of support groups and insurance-related information.

A glossary of terms used in the NICU from ‘kangaroo care’, when the baby is held skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest, to RDS or respiratory distress syndrome are broken down in simple terms.

The booklet is a work in progress with information and new updates from mothers who are still caring for babies in NICUs.

Detailed information about how to carefully wash a baby’s garments mindful of the infant’s sensitive skin and to prepare a home by deep cleaning it before the baby is finally discharged from the hospital are also part of the online booklet.

Shaped by a small group of mothers with first-person accounts including photographs of healthy babies, the aim of this guide is to make it easier for new mothers to negotiate the neonatal intensive care unit. Sandrine Piedras, who lost her child but wants to give others hope, says: “This document was made in memory of my baby Lucia. I wanted something good to come out of her death, I wanted new NICU moms to feel like they were not alone in NICU, to not feel as frightened and clueless as I was when I first entered the NICU world. I hope this document will help, please pass it along.”

rtalwar@thenational.ae

Updated: March 3, 2016 04:00 AM

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