A new website to help parents of intensive care babies is launched by The National Maternity Hospital today

By admin, Wednesday, 17th November 2021 | 0 comments

The website replaces a 120-page booklet previously handed to parents when their new-borns were admitted to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit

Wednesday, 17th November – World Prematurity Day: The National Maternity Hospital today launched a comprehensive, educational site www.nmhnicu.ie, which is dedicated to supporting parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and their families. The site was funded by Rethink Ireland through The NMH Foundation.

The NMH Neonatal unit is recognised as a centre of excellence for the care of premature babies and is one of four tertiary level NICUs in Ireland.  The NMH NICU and its specialist neonatal multidisciplinary team care for nearly 1,500 premature babies from all over Ireland each year. 

The remarkable website is a collaboration between NICU clinicians and its multi-disciplinary team who updated and expanded previous paper-based resources for parents to provide an optimal online resource to guide parents through their precious baby’s journey through the neonatal unit.  The information contained within the site represents the knowledge, expertise, and experience of a highly committed group of neonatal healthcare staff including doctors, nurses, midwives, dieticians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, clinical engineers, and social workers. The team focused on ensuring that the resource communicates clearly and in an easy-to-understand manner.

Speaking at the launch of the resource at the hospital today, Professor John Murphy, Consultant Neonatologist, said: “This website has been an exciting development for the hospital and is the result of tremendous work by our multi-disciplinary team. The aim of the website is to provide parents with clear information on care and treatments that are being administered to their baby. The layout of the website provides an illustrated guide of the baby’s NICU journey and informs parents on how they can interact with their baby during their time in NICU. There are also sections on how to prepare for taking baby home and extensive advice on how to manage baby at home after discharge.”

www.nmhnicu.ie was developed specifically for parents of babies who are or who may be admitted to a neonatal unit, to help them to understand the challenges their babies face while in a NICU and to give them the skills and confidence they need to be an integral part of their baby’s care from day one.  The NICU team in The NMH is deeply grateful to those parents who have participated in the development of this resource for use by other parents whose babies in the future may need to be admitted to a NICU.  They have contributed enormously to the understanding and continuous improvement of patient experience and neonatal outcomes at The NMH. 

The website is divided into three key sections – In the NICU, Care and Support and Going Home and takes parents along the journey that their baby experiences in each area, while being mindful of the complex emotions and stress that parents often feel at this time. Information is subdivided into key sections, each providing comprehensive but easy to understand explanations of often complex terminology and procedures. A beautiful inspirational gallery “From NICU Graduate to Preschool Graduate” offers hope and reassurance to parents, while the website also provides links to key professional external resources and a glossary of commonly used terms. 

The Master of the Hospital, Professor Shane Higgins said: “I would like to pay tribute to all the staff at The NMH who collaborated to produce this remarkable website for parents and their families. Funding received from Rethink Ireland through The NMH Foundation facilitated the development of this site and I would like to take this opportunity to thank both organisations most sincerely. We hope that it will be of huge benefit to families nationwide and indeed globally, who have babies in neonatal care.”

Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the National Maternity Hospital’s NICU website today. This project was funded through our Innovate Together Fund, which was set up to support innovative responses to the Covid-19 crisis in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund, with additional support from the Z Zurich Foundation, Oakfield Trust, Medtronic and Twitter. We have no doubt that it will quickly become an invaluable resource for parents learning how to care for their babies under difficult circumstances.”

The information that had been in the original booklet has been extensively updated and meticulously transformed into this state-of-the-art online resource.

Special thanks to Combined Media who designed and developed the website, which boasts stunning photography by Andres Poveda with videography by Roberto Forte.

For further information, please contact:

 Jennie Cotter                   086 776 1890