Empowering our Neonatal Critical Care Unit families with parent education sessions

Empowering our Neonatal Critical Care Unit families with parent education sessions

To encourage the development of seriously ill and premature babies in our care, the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) has started offering parent education sessions to families who have babies on the ward.

These babies—affectionately known as Mater little miracles—are cared for by our expert team, but it’s the support of their family that is at the centre of everything we do. 

The sessions focus on encouraging parents’ involvement in their baby’s care wherever possible and to feel empowered doing so—learning new skills with support from the allied health team.

Director of Neonatology, Dr Pita Birch, said that the sessions are a great opportunity for parents to meet others in the same situation and share experiences from being on the ward.

“We wanted to encourage parents to share their stories and seek support in a safe environment,” said Dr Birch.

“Admission to the Neonatal Critical Care Unit can be scary and overwhelming for parents, so the sessions aim to empower families to care for their babies through collaboration with the multidisciplinary team”.

The Neonatal Critical Care Unit parent education sessions cover many different specialties, allowing clinical staff and parents to work together to provide outstanding care to babies.

To date, two of the sessions have already been held, with plans to continue with classes well into August.

“Parents have provided positive feedback about the classes; we’re looking forward to the upcoming sessions too,” said Dr Birch.

Session topics

Self-care for parents while in the NCCU

Common stresses faced by parents in NCCU and when to seek further support, including the basics of wellbeing and self-compassion.

Adjusting to life beyond NCCU

Recognising how parents adjust to life after their baby has been discharged from NCCU, including common experiences, support needs, and emotional responses (i.e. what is ‘normal’ and when to seek further support).

Your baby’s development—how can I support my baby once I am home?

Understanding developmental care, helping your baby develop through play, sleeping and growing outside of NCCU.

Feeding my baby

What can parents do to support their baby’s feeding habits, including understanding their baby’s feeding cues and knowing when they’re getting enough milk.

What can I do for my baby while in NCCU?

Learning how parents can help to care for their baby, including the amazing benefits of skin-to-skin therapy.

How do we help your baby breathe?

Different types of respiratory support used in NCCU, understanding home oxygen, and how to help care for your baby while on respiratory support.


Mater Babies
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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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