The Rotunda Hospital, Ireland’s busiest maternity hospital, has launched a new Neonatal Information Booklet to coincide with World Prematurity Day 2021, which takes place today (17th November 2021). The new information booklet informs parents about the journey ahead in the Rotunda NICU and aims to reduce some of the anxiety parents may feel during this time.

Compiled by the multidisciplinary team of the Neonatal Unit in the hospital, the booklet covers key areas such as visiting, infection control, kangaroo / skin to skin care, nutrition, respiratory care and discharge planning. This book will be used as a reference guide for new parents to accompany regular talks with nursing and medical staff in the unit.

Professor Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda Hospital said: “We are proud to launch our new Neonatal Information Booklet for the parents and families of premature babies born at The Rotunda Hospital. We hope that this new resource will be beneficial for families during their time in the NICU, and to provide clarity on the various treatments and terminology, and the support programmes that they may encounter during this time. The booklet also features a ‘baby record’, so parents can keep track of the key milestones, including their babies first feed and other important moments in the NICU journey.You can read the new booklet here.

Each year the hospital and its charity partner the Rotunda Foundation celebrate the strength and tenacity of premature babies on World Prematurity Day by hosting a party in the hospital in their honour on the occasion of their second birthday. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the celebrations this year will take place virtually. All babies born in 2019 who weighed less than 1,500 grams along with their parents and siblings have been sent World Prematurity Day party packs to celebrate their two-year milestone at home.

Families have been invited to share a photograph of their party that will be displayed outside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the hospital to offer hope to families.

Professor Malone added: “This year, our events to mark World Prematurity Day will once again take place online. We are grateful for the help of the Rotunda Foundation, who have distributed party supply packs to all of our 2019 families, and we hope that our 2019 NICU graduates enjoy the virtual celebrations.