Doernbecher NICU staff create ‘Kangaroo Covers’ for parents and babies

In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a simple touch between a parent and baby can have such a meaningful significance that it is too wonderful for words.

Several months ago our staff in the Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center (DNCC) was asked, “What do you want parents to remember the most about their experience in the NICU, specifically a take away ‘Signature Moment’?”

Most answers centered around the moments when parents actually get to touch their baby, from changing a diaper to simply allowing their baby to hold their finger to providing them comfort.

A parent holding their baby skin to skin, also referred to as “Kangaroo Care,” is an experience that was defined as the ultimate “Signature Moment.” Collectively, our staff decided that allowing more Kangaroo Care opportunities and other parent-driven bonding moments with their baby would be the focus of our Signature Moment.

In order to facilitate more bonding moments, a DNCC nurse suggested we develop breastfeeding covers to assist parents with privacy and provide extra warmth for the baby while enjoying Kangaroo Care. This idea took off! With lots of research and volunteers, a redesigned, special DNCC nursing cover was developed. Our staff voted on many names for the covers, and “Kangaroo Covers” was the winner!

It was decided that every baby would receive a Kangaroo Cover as a gift from OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, to remind them of that “Signature Moment” they shared with their baby in the NICU.

In December, the DNCC celebrated the launch of the Kangaroo Covers with a baby shower-like party open to all Doernbecher families as well as staff. Parents had fun picking a cover from the many colors and patterns, while enjoying cake and refreshments provided by the March of Dimes.

This served as a wonderful opportunity for staff to be able to teach parents about the benefits Kangaroo Care has for both the parents and the baby.

Maintaining the program and striving for ways to continue that “Signature Moment” for our families is our goal for 2013, and we look forward to immense possibilities.

A big “thank you” to all of the staff, volunteers and March of Dimes for making THIS “Signature Moment” possible!

Robbie Hennig, R.N.
Assistant Nurse Manager
Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

5 responses to “Doernbecher NICU staff create ‘Kangaroo Covers’ for parents and babies

  1. Very much like the breast “aprons” we’ve been giving our mom’s at St. Vincents. Work great! We miss you @ St.V’s Robbie. Hope you & your family are well 🙂

  2. Hiya! LOVE this. Our son and late daughter were NICU babies, and we work now with the March of Dimes to help our local (Harrisburg, PA) NICU. This is very interesting and I’m thinking we might duplicate it here. Can you email me so I can get info like what sort of pattern you used? THANKS!

  3. Wonderful! Can we who love to sew and give back to the community, volunteer to sew these Kangaroo Covers? Would love to participate in this program.

  4. Great question, Cathy! We are currently working to get a pattern and instructions ready for anyone who’d like to help. We’ll share the pattern here on this blog when it’s ready to go. Thank you for helping us in this endeavor! -Anne

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