Dr. Clint White, neonatologist, and Leigh Ann Leonard, pediatric nurse manager, accompanied a group from Pine Belt Quilters on a tour of Forrest General's new family-centered NICU this week. All preconceived notions of a preemie baby nursery were dispelled as we saw this state-of-the-art unit. Every measure has been taken to provide a comfortable, efficient, and welcoming atmosphere for the newborn and its family. Depending on the length of time the baby is early, all conditions of light, temperature, sound can be monitored and altered to mimic the time it missed in the mother's womb. Dr. White stressed the importance of rest and sleep, and these rooms provide quiet that is unusual for most hospitals.
Members of Pine Belt Quilters had made and donated isolette covers for the 19 rooms, and we were eager to see these in use. We were glad to be asked to make these and we developed a pattern from a worn-out white/gray one. When premature babies are fighting for survival in a sterile, frightening environment, having colorful objects in their rooms can be a tremendous boost to the spirits of the family as well as the medical staff. The covers are made of the three layers (just like a quilt), a colorful outer fabric, a layer of batting, and a gray inside fabric. (The gray helps the staff see the baby's true skin color.) The covers have several flaps which allow the baby to be tended to with very little disturbance.
|Isolette with cover|
|Leigh Anne Leonard with Baby Wall mural|
|Dr. White with Baby Wall mural|