Maternity staff at a healthcare Trust, in the West Midlands, have launched an appeal for donations of knitted or crocheted baby hats in response to results from ‘Avoiding Term Admissions Into Neonatal’ (ATAIN) units research into the causes of admission in the newly born.
The team have also launched Project Thermo, a joint effort between maternity and neonatal, to support mum and baby to have effective skin-to-skin contact from birth, and for babies to maintain a consistent temperature. The project aims to educate parents on the need to maintain a healthy temperature for their baby.
With records indicating mild hypothermia being the cause of 1-in-5 admissions of babies to Birmingham City Hospital NNU last year, it is hoped that this will result in a significant reduction to admissions, as well as having the benefit of helping mother and baby stay together; something which provides benefits in itself as both mother and baby have a strong physiological and emotional need to be together during the post-birth period, helping to forge the bond between them.
Dr Rabia Zahid of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said: “Our aim is to promote thermo-regulation in the delivery rooms, in the recovery, anti-natal and post-natal rooms, when babies are present as well as around the time of delivery. Babies need a temperature of between 36.5°C and 37.5°C to remain healthy during this period and avoid being susceptible to hyperthermia.”
Writing on the department’s Better Births Facebook page, the team said: “All babies benefit from support to maintain their body temperature in the hours after birth and we are very low on hats that will fit a term new-born. If you would like to help by donating some hats to our maternity unit we would be very grateful. Hats can be knitted or crocheted, in any weight of yarn or colour and to any pattern you prefer.”
As a guide, the average new-born head circumference is between 31 – 36 cm and that any donations or creations would be gratefully received.
Hats should be sent to the Serenity Birth Centre / Labour Ward at City Hospital in Winson Green, in Birmingham.