When Christchurch mother Christina took her daughter to the GP in April 2016, she thought maybe the young baby had nappy rash. As it turns out, the GP ended up rushing Christina and her daughter to the Children’s Acute Assessment (CAA) unit of the Christchurch Hospital for suspected meningitis.
Christina says that even though the staff were amazing, the experience was very stressful, “It was a very emotional and difficult day.”
While in the unit, Christina’s daughter was given an age appropriate ‘goodie’ bag full of things to entertain her. The idea prompted Christina to consider created a similar bag for mothers or carers in an effort to encourage and improve their time in hospital.
Christina contacted her friend Joy, and with the help of local businesses, their “One Mother to Another” support group are now able to supply 50 packs per month to the staff at the CAA ward, who distribute them to parents.
Their idea has been so successful, that they are now expanding into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Christchurch Hospital. This is a ward close to Joy’s heart in particular, given that her first born spent his first week of life in an incubator in the department.
Both Joy and Christina want to try and ease the burden on new mums by providing gift bags for every mother who has a child in the unit. “Our aim is to put a smile on the face of the mum or carer and let them know we care about what they are going through, acknowledge that this could be a very difficult time for them, and hopefully brighten their day,” they said.
Each pack is filled with items, some practical and some more indulgent in an effort to ease the burden on parents and carers. One Mother to Another are currently supplying 50 gift bags per month to the CAA ward, and 80 per month to the NICU ward.
This Mother’s Day, the team are working hard to give packs to every mother who comes into the CAA Unit on Sunday. “Usually the staff just choose to give them to mums who need some encouragement,” explains Christina. “But we decided that any mother who has to spend Mother’s Day in hospital with their child deserves to be spoilt, so we have made up some extra ones especially for Sunday.”
How You Can Help
One Mother to Another are always on the look out for donations, as well as any physical items that could be included as part of the gift bags. For more information, see their website here