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Airedale Neonatal unit creates 'journey bags' for new parents

Airedale Neonatal unit creates 'journey bags' for new parents

Published by Lisa Darvill at 9:10am 2nd March 2020.

Photo shows baby Ariya, Neonatal junior sister Rebeca Inman and new mum Katie Stanley

Airedale Hospital has created 'journey bags' to help parents whose babies are born prematurely.  

  • Airedale Hospital has created ‘Journey bags’  
  • The bags contain things like a baby diary, a book, a keepsake bag, and an inkless footprint kit 
  • Staff hope it'll make the parents’ stay on the unit a little easier

The staff at the Neonatal Unit at Airedale Hospital have created ‘Journey bags’ to help record those important baby milestones and to make the parents’ stay on the unit a little easier.

Each bag contains a baby diary, a reading book, a keepsake bag, inkless footprint kit, mini octopus, milestone cards and a notebook for parents to write down their thoughts and feelings and any questions they want to ask. 

airedale hospital prenatal journey bags
The 'journey bags'

Junior Sister on the Neonatal unit, Rebecca Inman explains:

“We wanted to create these bags and the diary to help our new parents when they first arrive on the unit.  The diary has a place to write everything down when they are born and any significant days or things that parents want to write about - like ‘today I had my first cuddle’, or ‘today I wore my own clothes’.  

"When they are in the incubator and we are watching their breathing often they are just in nappies for a few days and parents say that the first time they dress their baby is really important, it sounds like nothing to a lot of people but to our parents, it’s really significant.  It helps parents to recognise these moments too and it’s something nice to keep.”

New mum Katie Stanley was the first parent to receive a special journey bag.  Her baby Ariya was born at 34 weeks.

Katie, who also works as a sister on the hospital’s Acute Assessment Unit, says:

"The bag will really help emotionally, it’s something for you to look at, and it’s nice to have a notebook in there as well for us to write things down.  

"The diary will give us a bit of guidance,  especially with her being early.  It’s got all her little milestones in it as well, when she can come out of her incubator, first feeds and things like that, we can put all that in there, it’s a lovely idea."

The bags have been funded by a unit raffle, previous parents and local businesses. The unit also has an Amazon wish list so anyone can buy things for the unit and it gets delivered straight to them.

You can find the list by clicking here