Families of premature babies have a special reason to celebrate this week, as events are held around the world to mark World Prematurity Day, 2023.
At Middlemore Hospital, November 17th is of special significance to one whanau whose twins recently arrived 11 weeks early.
Brad and Ashleigh’s baby girls spent seven weeks in the care of the Kidz First Neonatal Unit, where more than 1000 new-borns are cared for each year.
When little Bodie and Ellie left Kidz First they transitioned to the special Birth Care service in Botany, before making the big move to go home.
Ashleigh says: “It’s been a very up and down journey for us. There’s no way we were expecting twins as the start of our family, and we have been on an emotional rollercoaster.
“Having said that, the staff have been amazing – the support from the doctors and nurses has blown us away.”
Kidz First Family Liaison Nurse Abby Parsons says: “This whanau’s journey is typical of many of the people we get to help.
“The early arrival of one baby, let alone two, is a huge hurdle for couples to manage, and we support them in many ways – from teaching them how to feed their baby, to how to read the many signs that accompany the vital growth stages of a premature baby.”
There will be a number of special events in Counties Manukau marking World Prematurity Day – showcasing the vital work that happens in the Kidz First Neonatal service.