Mum's Life

New parents handbook will raise awareness for World Prematurity Awareness Month

When Freddie Halpenny arrived into the world on 21 August 2017, he weighed just 980g (2.2lbs), today he is a thriving, healthy fourteen-month-old toddler weighing 25 pounds.  

Together with his parents Eimear and Eoin, he visited the National Maternity Hospital (MNH) recently to celebrate the publication of a special Parents’ Handbook, written by a team of NMH Authors and designed to support and guide parents through the worrying period while their baby is being cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  

The publication of the Handbook is part of a broader awareness campaign for the month of November for World Prematurity Awareness month where the NMH Foundations hopes to raise much-needed funds to support parents and babies through the difficult early days.    

To date, the NMH Foundation has raised funds for a range of life-saving equipment, advanced training and education programmes.  On World Prematurity Day November 17th,  the NMH Foundation will launch the new transport incubator which will help bring our sick babies to the NMH from around the country as well as the critical journey from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to the new MRI Scanner.

The NMH Foundation will also be launching the new NoxBoxi: a machine which will help deliver oxygen to premature babies’ lungs. This machine has been purchased with funds raised by Eimear Halpenny and her partner Eoin Campbell who with their families and friends raised an astounding €47,780 for the NICU. Their son Freddie who was born prematurely will help to cut the ribbon on this very important piece of equipment for the NICU.

“Babies being born prematurely is still one of the biggest challenges we have in obstetrics. It is also a huge challenge for parents. You can imagine a baby born here at 25 weeks, weighing 500 grams: that baby will need so much support with breathing, feeding and infection and their parents will spend many weeks on the unit,” NMH Master, Dr Rhona Mahony said of the importance of raising awareness throughout the month. 

The November campaign and the production of the handbook is supported by WaterWipes who also provided funding for practical supports for parents such as Leap Cards for travel, Breast Pumps for NICU mothers, a family room with pull-out beds and privacy screens.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, is a recognised centre of excellence and tertiary referral centre for acutely ill and pre-term babies from across the country.  Babies are admitted to the neonatal unit for a number of reasons. Many are born preterm and require careful observation and monitoring. Others, such as full-term newborns, may have health problems; such has infection, jaundice, cardiac or surgical problems, that require special treatment.

The National Maternity Hospital Foundation will hold a very special coffee morning on November 17th to mark World Prematurity Day and celebrate the little warriors of Holles Street.  #worldprematuritymonth. For further information, see:

Search results for
View all