Nurses show of hope for parents of premature babies in South Tyneside

Maternity specialists who help premature babies from South Tyneside in their earliest days have helped show parents how their future could look.
Nurses Emily Cameron and Abigail Owen with the displayNurses Emily Cameron and Abigail Owen with the display
Nurses Emily Cameron and Abigail Owen with the display

The neonatal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital has created a display filled with stories of children it has welcomed into the world, detailing how small they were when they were delivered and showing photos of them as they are today.

They have also decorated the ward as part of the annual World Premature Baby Day campaign, which aims to raise awareness of premature births and the impact they can have on the baby and their families throughout their lives.

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Some 15 million babies are born early across the world every year – 60,000 of these in the UK.

South Tyneside Hospital lit purple.South Tyneside Hospital lit purple.
South Tyneside Hospital lit purple.

The decorations include a washing line pegged with 10 pairs of socks, with one of those pairs smaller to represent the one in 10 babies who are born prematurely in Britain.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has also turned the outdoor lighting of its buildings – including the maternity unit at South Tyneside District Hospital – purple for the week.

Sonia McNamara, a staff nurse on the neonatal unit, said: “We have decorated the unit showing children now and pictures of them when they were born, including how much they weighed, to show how well they are doing.

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“This is so parents can see them as they’re in the waiting room. When they have a premature baby it can be so hard for them and it can help to see how others are doing.

She added: “It can be a long journey for the parents and their babies, but we are here for them and we know they can get there.”

The unit has thanked the seven families who helped put together the display, which will be on show for the week.

For details about the neonatal care offered by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, go to

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Mini Miracles, which is one of the Trust’s own charity funds, works to support the unit through equipment, specialist training and better patient facilities.

More information about it can be found at

To learn more about World Prematurity Day, go to

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