Sharing a bedtime story is a normal treasured ritual for so many families, but when your newborn baby is hospitalized right off the get-go nothing is normal for your new family. Here's more on how a big donation on the books put books in the NICU at Avera McKennan.
Scholastic Incorporated is a national sponsor of the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program nationwide and here at Avera McKennan Hospital. Scholastic has donated more than 140,000 books and supplies to encourage bonding and interaction with babies that often times can't be held.
Jackie VanderWoude is the NICU Family Support Specialist at Avera McKennan. She says, "There's a relief that comes over their face because they have a way to interact with their baby when they can't touch them."
There are 250 books on 2 carts in both NICU's at Avera McKennan. They are in English and Spanish and in all levels of reading. That way in Grandpa wants to read "The Recess Queen to his new Granddaughter her sure can.
Jackie says, "It's something for them to feel like they are participating in the care of their baby and feeling like a parent. They love it."
Most bed side stories put the little ones to sleep. Not the very busy beaver and not Grace and that's good because it means this preemie recognizes her mom's voice.
New mom Angie Seyer says, "She did. She woke up right away when I started reading. I didn't know how she'd react. I guess I'll be reading more often."
Thanks to the March of Dimes, Scholastic Inc, and Avera McKennan she can.
As Angie finishes reading the story, it's nice to know this is the beginning of a beautiful lifelong bonding experience that started during a tough time.
We talked to Angie the day before the story aired and Baby Grace is doing great. She's two pounds heavier than she was at birth, moved up to a crib, and is getting stronger every day. She still has a feeding tube and once she learns to bottle feed she can go home.