The Neonatal Unit at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) is one of the busiest units in the country catering for approximately 8,000 births per year. Approximately 1 in 10 of all babies born in CUMH will require admission to the Neonatal Unit.
For most families, having a baby is a time of immense joy, a time to celebrate the beginning of life, but for a small number, having a baby is a traumatic time. When giving birth is associated with serious complications for example when babies are born very early, with life limiting medical conditions or when the mother is seriously ill, a different kind of care is needed. This is when clinical and technical care needs to be surpassed by compassionate, holistic and supportive care. To support this end, the Neonatal Unit wishes to build a multifaceted family sanctum to benefit mothers, babies and their families.
The Neonatal Family Sanctum is to comprise of two key areas; a Neonatal Sanctum and a Parent’s Room located nearby.
The Parent’s Room will be a private area, separate to the unit but still nearby. This is where parents can take some time out from the clinical setting during a stressful time, make a cup of tea in a comfortable environment and have some privacy. The space will also extend out into the CUMH private central garden area, allowing parents to get some fresh air and sit outside in an oasis of calm, so important for mental health and wellbeing.
The Neonatal Sanctum will be a structure in the CUMH garden for parents to take a baby in palliative care, or for a seriously ill mother to access. Being able to step outside in a quiet dignified space, away from a clinical critical environment is so important for families. Sharing a small glimpse of nature with an ill or dying baby and seeing the blue sky in a place of quiet, solace and privacy creates cherished memories that will last for many years.
Building these important compassionate places clearly demonstrates that newborns and their families at the very core of the service provided by Cork University Maternity Hospital.
Please support the Neonatal Family Sanctum Appeal by making a donation today.