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Make bonding hearts to comfort newborn babies

Organization Misericordia & Grey Nuns hospitals

Closes Ongoing

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Smell is one of the earliest senses to develop. When babies are born, they can already detect and recognize their mother’s scent.

So, neonatal intensive care units use bonding hearts – a pair of knit, crochet or double-layered cloth hearts – to comfort newborns who have to be separated from their mothers. The mother puts one heart against her skin or on her pillow for a few hours; the other heart is tucked near or under the baby’s head in the NICU; and the pair of hearts is swapped daily. The familiar scents soothe and calm, improve bonding, increase the desire to feed in baby and stimulate lactation in mom. Dads can use them, too, so babies learn to recognize and find comfort in their unique scent.

More than 3,000 babies are born each year at the Misericordia hospital. One third need the NICU’s specialized care due to prematurity or medical complications. The Grey Nuns hospital NICU cares for even more babies – up to 1,500 per year. A few spend weeks or even months there. So, the need for bonding hearts is ongoing.

That’s where yegSpark comes in. The hospitals have asked if our members will help make more hearts. For sewers (sewists? seamsters?), it’s an easy project, perfect for beginners; you just need a machine and some soft, new, cotton print or flannel fabric. The yarn patterns call for soft, 100-per-cent cotton yarn and either an H-5mm hook for crochet or, for knitting, circular or double-point needles.

Click on the red button to sign up and we’ll send you some pattern options and locations to drop off your hearts. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register for yegSpark first.

If you already signed up for the sewing option and just need the knit or crochet patterns, please let me know.

Please share this opportunity to reach other helpers and spread the word about yegSpark.

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