Neonatal Nurses Make Father’s Day Extra Special for Dads of Premature Babies

14 June 2017

Neonatal Nurses Make Father’s Day Extra Special for Dads of Premature Babies

Neonatal nurses at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow are making Father’s Day extra special for dads of premature babies.

Dads will have time in front of the camera to record a personal video message for their child to watch when he or she is older. Video messages on Father’s Day will be added to the baby’s video care diary, that can be downloaded once the baby has left the Unit, and kept as a memento.

Father’s Day is an opportunity for families to get together and share special moments; and for dads of premature or sick babies, the day has even more meaning; it provides an opportunity for the family to be together, be close, and bond with their baby.

In May, the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, became the first neonatal unit in the UK to use video messages to connect parents and babies. And, this project forms part of their continued mission to provide the very best family-centred-care. Now, nurses will use the application to help make Father’s Day more memorable for the dads.

The medical staff have even thought of a way of involving dads who are unable to be at the unit on Sunday, and will surprise them with a personalised video of their baby.

vCreate, the organisation providing secure video messaging to the unit for free, is supporting the event by enabling dads to record their special messages throughout the day from a hospital-owned tablet. Nurses will also be on hand to show dads how to add captions to their videos; something that the team here have got down to a tee. 600 babies are cared for here every year, and 30 families are currently signed up to receive video messages.

Ben Moore, vCreate Founder said: “We feel immensely proud to be supporting this special day.”
Families of premature babies want to be by their baby’s side every day, not only on Father’s Day, but sometimes they are not able to because of caring for other children and work commitments. vCreate is helping to ensure special moments are captured on video.”

Neil Patel, Consultant Neonatologist at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, explained why the unit has chosen to include video platform vCreate as part of their Father’s Day celebrations: “We already use video messaging as a way of parents keeping up-to-date on their baby’s progress when they are not able to be there in person. Then we thought - what if we reversed roles for a day, and allowed dads to record video messages for their baby to watch when they are older. We think Father’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to capture special moments that will form part of the baby’s journal and record when they leave the unit.”

Dads will be asked whether they would like to keep their message private, or whether they are happy to share their precious moments with other dads who could be going through a similar experience, and those that do will be shared across social media.

Being dad to a baby born too soon impacts the whole family; and dads have to go back to work sooner than mums, so they are unable to spend as much time as they would like cot side. This initiative is supporting families at a time when they need it the most, and is an option that the unit offers parents every day of the year; but perhaps using it on Father’s Day makes it even more special.