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Support Hugs for Preemies in Bulgaria
785 raised
10% of €8k goal
20 contributors
2 Years running

We are "Our Premature Children" Foundation from Bulgaria, the major Bulgarian NGO that supports premature babies and their families through advocacy, but also in more tangible ways like providing information, psychological support, donations to NICUs and working hand in hand with neonatologists to improve practices of care in our country.

 

Preemie parents in Bulgaria still have very limited access to their babies while they are being cared for in the NICU - often only once or twice a week for an hour, sometimes every day for an hour. The reason for this is a rather old-fashioned understanding of what medical care for premature babies should provide, but also limited space due to architectural inadequacy. Most hospitals are build during the socialist regime and do not foresee the inclusion of parents and families in the day-to-day care of preemies and children.

We have been building family rooms in Bulgarian NICUs since 2015, we already have three different room that were co-funded by businesses. A fourth room is in the process of becoming, funded by a sole private donation. We are looking to build three more rooms in 2018, in three of the most open-minded and welcoming NICUs in the towns of Sliven, Rousse and Pleven. 

Family rooms are designed to ease the parent's anxieties and give them a secure space to bond with their baby and learn to care for it. They can spend time there prior to discharge from the hospital, but still receive professional support. Family rooms are meant to encourage breast-feeding, kangaroo care (skin-to-skin care) and family-entered care practices that are proven to be highly beneficial for the babies' development and long-term outcome. Babies who have been separated from their parents for a long time, sometimes up to 2 or 3 months, suffer more from cognitive and neurological impairment as well as psychological problems up to school age and beyond. 

 

Family rooms try to introduce the concept of family-centered and developmental care in a nonthreatening manner for health care professionals. We aim to show that close contact between parents and babies does not have any detrimental, but only positive effects on the babies' health. Parents also benefit, as parental depression and anxiety is sky high during the babies' NICU stay. Family rooms allow parents to become more competent and confident in their parental skills, but also to feel important and valued for their babies' well being.

 

Building ONE family room costs around 10.000 BGN, amounting to approx. 5.000 EUR or 6.085 USD. Since we have been collecting funds through local campaigns, we humbly ask you for 8.000 EUR to finance what is worth one and a half family room in Bulgarian NICUs and cover the campaign's administration costs. Even small amounts count towards our major goal <3 

 

Even if you cannot contribute financially, please share our campaign on social media and among your friends and family. Prematurity is a major global problem, affecting up to 10% or all newborns worldwide. 

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