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Bake for Babies back to help sick newborns

Canberra’s own Bake for Babies fundraising challenge returns this winter after a break last year due to pandemic restrictions – and organisers hope to raise enough dough to purchase specific equipment for Canberra’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“In 2020 we had to make our dough stretch,” said Newborn Intensive Care Foundation’s chairman, Peter Cursley. “That left us kneading.”

“Enough of the dad jokes,” he smiled. “This is all about improving the health outcomes of sick and premature newborn babies”.

The Newborn Intensive Care Foundation (NICF) is urging people from the Canberra region to take the Bake for Babies challenge to raise $40,000 to buy a cooling blanket and a phototherapy blanket to treat sick newborn babies admitted to the NICU at Canberra Centenary Hospital for Women & Children.

Babies who do not cry and breathe at birth may develop a brain injury because of lack of oxygen from lack of blood flow to the brain. Research has shown that cooling babies a few degrees soon after birth decreases brain injury. That’s what a cooling blanket does.

The benefits of the phototherapy blanket are twofold: infants who have jaundice require treatment with phototherapy. Some types of jaundice in a newborn baby can progress rapidly and can cause brain damage if untreated. Unlike traditional phototherapy treatments where the baby is separated from their parents for long periods, the phototherapy blanket means there can be physical contact while the baby is undergoing essential light treatment. This has great benefits for both the baby and the parent.

Additionally, when a baby needs transfer from another hospital, it is difficult to give phototherapy during an ambulance transfer with traditional phototherapy equipment. The phototherapy blanket can wrap around a baby to provide this valuable treatment during transit.

To raise the funds, the NICF will run Bake for Babies from 1 June to 31 August 2021.

You can bake whatever you like – scones, cakes, pizzas, muffins, biscuits, a slice, whatever, and sell to friends, family or colleagues and then deposit the proceeds into the NICF Bake for Babies account. “If you are like me and your scones turn out more like Anzac biscuits, maybe people will sponsor you not to bake,” Mr Cursley said.

The concept is as broad as you like to make it. So Mr Cursley asks: “Will you take the bake challenge?”

More ideas and information at www.newborn.org.au 

100% of all money raised in the region by the NICF funds medical equipment, research and nurse education to help sick newborn babies of the Canberra region.

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