TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2021
The Miracle Month of May is a time to highlight the support Miracle Babies Foundation provides to premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them. This Miracle Month of May we are highlighting the launch of our Australian-first support resource the Nurture 'E' Information Hub, also known as The EEE Impact. Nurture ‘E’ has been created in collaboration with parents and health professionals, to provide new and improved evidence, education and empowerment for families of premature or sick babies, as well as the children themselves as they grow and develop.
Every year in Australia more than 48,000 newborn babies require the help of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Nursery (SCN); and 27,000 of these babies are born premature. For families of these sick or premature babies, vital information which provides insight on their growth and development into childhood, teenage and even adulthood years is difficult to find. Nurture ‘E’ – The EEE Impact, is an online information hub on the revamped Miracle Babies website helping to provide information families may find helpful when navigating life stages.
Throughout the Miracle Month of May we’re highlighting certain sections of Nurture 'E', starting with the Primary School Years. For any Miracle family with a child reaching the start of school, it may feel like only yesterday that your miracle baby was in the NICU or SCN and you were navigating your way around this unfamiliar setting. Once home from the hospital you may have had a schedule of appointments to assess your baby’s growth and development or you may have relied on community support and your GP. During this time, you may have been alerted to some challenges that your child faces and you may have been referred to a specialist. Knowing and understanding what challenges your child may face will help you advocate for your child in the school years ahead.
Miracle baby Lachlan was born at 35 weeks and spent 13 days in the NICU and SCN at Nepean Hospital. His mother, Amy shared how her son overcame challenges leading into his first year of ‘big school’.
"The lead up to his first year of school has been quite a challenging time. Lachlan has been diagnosed with a severe speech delay and has been diagnosed with ADHD, hyperactive and impulsive type, and has been struggling to understand himself and why he is the way he is. It is still very much a work in progress, but he has had a year of speech therapy and is starting at a fantastic school and his kindergarten teacher is amazing, so we hope for an amazing year of growth and personal achievements."
Babies born premature, small for their gestational age or babies that have had complications that lead to their NICU/SCN stay run a higher risk of challenges, therefore it’s important to watch your child’s progress once the developmental assessments have stopped via the hospital follow on clinics.
Research conducted by the University of Tasmania found children of school-entry age who were born premature have a chance of being behind in tasks involving executive functions, relating to attention, concentration, and self-control. Difficulties in the classroom include short-term memory loss which may impact their ability to learn and keep up with peers, and a shy or quiet personality may impact their ability to ask questions.
This is why Miracle Babies is continuing to support families with information and education that is language friendly for parents and carers, to help them be the best advocate for their child as they navigate the school years ahead.
Areas already covered in the Primary School Years section of Nurture ‘E’ include:
To find out more visit our Nurture 'E' information hub here.
Alongside promoting our new online resource, we also have many amazing events on throughout our Miracle Month of May. Find out more Miracle Month of May events here.