on Jul 27, 21

A helping hand for our littlest babies

The Neonatal Trust is a crowd favourite at The Good Registry, and they’ve just topped $20,000 of donations from our good givers! 

Through these donations The Neonatal Trust has been able to purchase equipment and put tools in place to help some of our tiniest New Zealanders and their whānau. 

The Neonatal Trust provides support and supplies for families of premature, or sick full-term babies as they make their way through newborn intensive care units (NICUs) and special care baby units (SCBUs). The trust also ensures that the transition home for the families of these babies is as trouble-free and reassuring as it can be. 

The Neonatal Trust was started 35 years ago by two families of premature babies. What these families felt was lacking when they went through the neonatal journey was the ability to talk with others about similar experiences and to know what to expect for their premature babies. 

The Neonatal Trust has three objectives, which determine where time and resources are spent. 

The first objective is to support parents and families.  Executive Director Rachel Friend says it’s often a traumatic time for the whole family. “The birth of a child is usually a celebration for the whole family so when there is trauma surrounding it, it's trauma for the whole family, like a ripple effect.” 

So the trust supports families with things like privacy screens (as parents are often sharing a room with others), care packages that are carefully crafted by volunteers, ‘scent with love’ hearts to transfer scent between mum and baby, cot sheets for baby, and hardship vouchers if they are needed.

The second objective is to support the NICU units with quality equipment such as comfortable lazyboy chairs, weighing scales, feeding pumps, electric hospital beds, and radio headsets so that families can stay in the room with their baby while nurses tend to others in the room. 

The third objective is to aid in neonatology research. This research helps to create enhanced outcomes for thousands of future neonatal babies.  You can read about the research they are supporting on their website here

The Neonatal Trust also offers several specialist play groups for neonatal families around the country. These playgroups are facilitated by a paid physiotherapist or occupational therapist in a hired space, with all equipment supplied by The Neonatal Trust.

Rachel says the catch-ups provide an important support network.

“Tubes, wires, beeps, bells, doctors and nurses become your normal in the neonatal unit. Then baby’s discharged and you're at home alone with a baby... it can be quite isolating straight away.”

“The families not only have access to a professional, but it also gets these families together in a space where they feel safe, where there are no germs and there is no judgement.”

The Neonatal Trust is working towards doing more for families by building their brand awareness, approaching partners and working towards gaining a sustainable income in the next few years - and Rachel says the support they receive from The Good Registry and its givers has an important part in this.

“We love being a partner of The Good Registry. We now try to do things that have meaning. It's about making memories and doing the right thing.”

With more than $20,000 given to The Neonatal Trust through The Good Registry so far, that’s enough to provide care packs for more than 1000 families. 

If you want to join in on doing the right thing for those that need it most, you could start right now!

 

- By Courtney Ellingham Prebble

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