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Help keep parents and baby together

Each year, Monash Newborn, Casey Special Care Nursery provides care to more than 750 unwell babies. 

Some of these families live close by, however, some live as far away as Gippsland or Phillip Island. 

Sometimes, these sick babies require prolonged stays in the special care nursery of up to 60 days, and the toll constant travel takes on parents from a financial, emotional and physical perspective can be enormous. 

Evidence indicates that prolonged or repeated physical separation between parents and their newborns alters brain development and can impair critical bonding and attachment between the baby and their caregiver. 

The benefits of keeping babies close to their carers include: 

  • Improved breast milk supply and an increased likelihood of mothers being able to breastfeed for longer. 
  • The ability to be more involved in their child’s care rather than being an observer. 
  • Improved physical and emotional connection between baby and carer – this results in positively influenced brain development and long-term emotional health.  
  • Lower cortisol (stress) levels in baby. 

We always aim to ensure parents can remain close.  However, sometimes there are simply too many admissions, and this can become difficult. 

This festive season, we’re asking you to help us keep unwell babies and their carers together, by considering a donation that will go toward funding new recliner sofa beds. 

These beds allow carers to sit and sleep cot side, ensuring the most beneficial special care stay for both baby and carer.  

Currently, Monash Newborn, Casey Special Care Nursery only has access to three of these recliner beds – we want to increase this number dramatically so that every single baby admitted to the nursery can have their carer cot side for the duration of their stay. 

Your generosity can help us keep babies and carers together this festive season and into the future – giving these vulnerable infants the best possible start to life.  To support this appeal, click here

Diana and Dean’s story 

There is so much emotion that comes with giving birth. The excitement, the nerves, the overwhelming joy of finally holding your newborn after nine long months.

Diana experienced this very roller coaster of emotions, which were amplified not long after she welcomed her baby into the world as he required urgent medical care.

Baby Dean was born on the 18th of August and at 8 days old was admitted to Monash Newborn, Casey Special Care Nursery as he was rapidly losing weight due to feeding issues as a result of a tongue-tie. 

“It was a lot to process, I was trying to wrap my head around what it meant for him to have a tongue-tie, how it was to be treated and all the other emotions that come with having an unwell baby,” Diana said. 

“Fortunately, the nurses at Monash Newborn, Casey Special Care Nursery assured me I wouldn’t have to leave Dean, and I was able to stay with him in the nursery throughout his admission. This made me feel more at ease, like I had a bit more control over what was happening.” 

Throughout his stay, Dean steadily gained weight, and Diana was able to learn different feeding and care techniques and bond with her baby. 

“It was so important for me to build my confidence as a new mum, and to have the ongoing assistance of the speech pathologist, nurses and dieticians who all worked closely together to ensure Dean became stronger every day,” Diana said.  

“For me to be able to be there with my baby as he slowly gained weight and improved meant the world. I am certain it made a positive impact on Dean’s health.” 

Baby Dean has been able to return home with his family, and they are looking forward to establishing their routine in the comfort of their own surroundings.  

He is undergoing regular checks with his Maternal and Child Health Nurse, alongside ongoing appointments with the specialist care team at Monash to ensure he is hitting his developmental milestones. 

“I can’t thank the team at Monash Health enough for their compassion, care and ongoing support. I am even more grateful that I was able to be by my son’s side every step of the way,” said Diana. 

If you would like to support this appeal, click here.