A cuddly keepsake for babies at hospital neonatal units

Special teddy bears are being given to newborns at their local hospital’s neonatal unit - to act as a touching token of the care they received there.

The teddy bears act as a memento of a baby's time in the neonatal unit.

Staff at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital are giving the ‘memento bears’ to parents whose babies are born premature or unwell - and in need of extra care.

The idea for the bears came from a discussion with a parent on one of the units who suggested the idea of a memento. The bears have been funded by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity.

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Carole Chapman, Ward Manager at Pilgrim Neonatal Unit, said: “Since the introduction of the bears we have had really good feedback from the parents, they love the idea of the bear that they can take away and keep as a reminder of their stay with us.

“It adds a personal touch to what is a very stressful time. A little piece of normality at a very abnormal time.

“I am really happy the charity was able to support us in the purchase of the bears. It means a great deal to be able to give this small token to our families in what can be a very stressful time.”

One mum, whose baby Leo has already spent 15 days on the Lincoln County Hospital unit, said: “Everyone has been so lovely and I have been able to stay on site to be close to Leo. The nurses have taught me everything about caring for Leo and have just been so helpful. The bear is such a lovely token that will go in Leo’s memory box and will be something to show him when he is older.”

Ben Petts, Charity Manager, said: “The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity were really keen to support this venture, a way we can impact the experience of patients at their earliest point.”