Home > All news > The Neonatal Trust fundraising efforts benefiting NICU babies at Waikato Hospital

The Neonatal Trust fundraising efforts benefiting NICU babies at Waikato Hospital

A big thank you from Waikato Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)  to the Waikato branch of The Neonatal Trust for their fundraising efforts of raising $4,500 for three tumble form chairs.

“Thank you for making things a lot easier for those babies and their families who will benefit immensely from your donation.” said NICU homecare nurse Tracy Thompson.

“These tumble form chairs make such a huge difference for infants going home from NICU who still have a naso-gastric tube in.”

Chairperson for Waikato branch of The Neonatal Trust, Regina Marais, was thrilled to be handing the chairs over on behalf of the Trust.

“It is an absolute pleasure to be able to provide these for NICU babies knowing that they will be helping to make a difficult start to life a little easier along the way.”

To feed with a naso-gastric tube babies ideally need to be upright and not hunched over which can put pressure on the top of the stomach causing gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux occurs when digested milk with stomach acid in comes back up into the oesophagus causing burning pain. This is very common in premature and medically fragile babies where the muscle that closes the opening at the top of the tummy is weak. Tumble form chairs provide the perfect sitting position to allow safe feeding and reduce reflux. Babies remain sitting upright in the chairs for a while after they are fed to allow time for the milk to move out of the stomach into the small bowel. The chairs also allow close contact from the mums and dads during feeds so they can make feeding a positive experience – despite using the NG tube.

The chairs will be lent out to any infants going home from NICU.

Waikato Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has 41 cots catering for any infants from within the Waikato DHB geographical region who require more than normal well baby care. Average length of stay ranges from a few hours for term babies up to 6 months plus for extremely premature infants who may be born as early as 23 weeks gestation. Medically fragile babies who may discharge home with NG tubes in are likely to include infants who were born prematurely, have suffered brain injuries, have ongoing respiratory problems, cardiac and other congenital anomalies.

The Neonatal Trust is about helping to make a difficult start to life that little bit easier.

The Neonatal Trust has three core objectives:

  • Supporting families of premature and sick full-term babies as they make their journey through neonatal care, the transition home, and onwards.
  • Assisting neonatal units in practical ways such as purchasing or contributing to the cost of equipment and funding for staff to attend neonatal educational seminars or other professional development.
  • Supporting neonatal-related medical research.
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