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On Father’s Day in New Zealand 16 babies will come early

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate release29 August 2018

On Father’s Day in New Zealand 16 babies will come early

If the averages play true, there will be 16 babies born premature in New Zealand on Father’s Day. A number more will need specialist care in a neonatal unit as a result of health issues and/or complications.

These premature and sick babies arriving on Father’s Day will join the hundreds of other babies already in a neonatal unit receiving specialist care. There are 360 incubators and cots in neonatal units across New Zealand.

Sunday 2 September is Father’s Day in New Zealand. While neonatal fathers would much rather have their precious baby (or babies, in the case of multiples) at home on this special day, they are in the very best place possible for their care. To acknowledge this day, and in line with their objective to support families going through the stress and anxiety of a neonatal journey, The Neonatal Trust has organised a special ‘pick-me-up’ pack to brighten up the day for fathers.

Neil O’Styke, Executive Director from The Neonatal Trust said “We want to provide a special package to each and every father with a baby in a neonatal unit to brighten their day”

“Through the support of some great organisations, we have been able to pull together a pack including a HELL voucher, magazine, chocolate, licorice, wipes and a Power bank. In addition, 'Tips for Dad', plus a book and support material on the benefit of reading to your baby and skin-to-skin ‘Kangaroo Cuddles’ is included in each pack.”

- For reference, here's the 'Reading to your baby' support resource and the Kangaroo Cuddles support resource

Mr O’Styke added “Key dates like Christmas Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be particularly tough for families with a baby in hospital. We hope that this package will provide a bright spot for them this Father’s Day”.

Our thanks go to Bauer Media for the magazines, Whittakers for the chocolate, RJs for the licorice, HELL for the pizza voucher, Huggies for the wipes and Powershop for the Power banks. All of this is delivered to the neonatal units through the kind support of Mainfreight.

Approximately 1 in 10 of babies born in New Zealand every year arrive early. That's one every 90 minutes, and over 5,000 in total. Babies are classified as premature if they are born before 37 weeks gestation. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Many arrive very early – some as early as 16 weeks early (24 weeks gestation). Full-term babies with health issues and/or complications are also cared for in the specialist neonatal units.

The Neonatal Trust provides support for families with babies in a neonatal unit. This includes helping in practical ways by providing information, purchasing or contributing to the cost of equipment and also providing emotional and other support in order to ‘make a difficult start to life a little bit easier’. Examples include: https://goo.gl/O69Lpc

The Trust receives no government funding and so relies on the generosity of the New Zealand community to continue providing the support that they do. If you would like to donate, please visit https://www.neonataltrust.org.nz/donation

Key statistics:

• Approximately 1 in 10 of babies born in New Zealand every year arrive early. That's one every 90 minutes, and over 5,000 in total. Many arrive very early – some as early as 16 weeks early (24 weeks gestation).

• There are 360 incubators and cots in neonatal units across New Zealand

• If the averages play true, there will be 16 babies born premature in New Zealand on Christmas Day. Babies are classified as premature if they are born before 37 weeks gestation. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.

• 40% of pregnancies involving multiples (twins, triplets, etc) arrive prematurely. www.multiples.org.nz

• Some stays in a neonatal unit last just a few days, others take a very long time. For example, from the personal stories on The Neonatal Trust website www.neonataltrust.org.nz:
* Charlotte, born 23 weeks 3 days, weighing 650grams - 132 days before going home for the first time.
* Samuel, born 23 weeks 3 days, weighing 668 grams - 116 days before going home for the first time.
* Elias, born 24 weeks 5 days, weighing 890 grams (2lb) - 123 days before going home for the first time.

ENDS


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