A photography exhibition showing the lives of premature babies and their parents on a neonatal unit has been developed to commemorate World Prematurity Day.
The exhibition looks into the world of parents and staff at the neonatal unit at St George’s Hospital in Tooting and was put together in partnership with First Touch – the hospital’s neonatal baby charity.
The aim of the exhibition is to increase parental involvement in discussions about family-centred care and highlight the challenging environment in which support is delivered.
Elisabeth Podsiadly, senior lecturer, from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, said family-centred support was an essential component of good neonatal care.
She said: ‘This project has provided insight into how parents and healthcare staff perceive parenting in the neonatal unit. The enthusiasm to participate demonstrated by parents, doctors and nurses tells us that more needs to be done to understand how parents might be supported.’
Elisabeth added that she hoped the exhibition would lead to further dialogue between families and healthcare professionals about continuing to improve neonatal support. ‘This public exhibition is the start of a conversation that is intended to lead to a more established research project on family-centred care with a strong public participation component,’ she said.
The free photo exhibition is open for viewing in the Grosvenor Wing Foyer of St George’s Hospital, Tooting.
Image: Baby ‘A’ and Mum. Baby ‘A’ was born 17 weeks early at 23 weeks' gestation. Photo taken 13 weeks after birth, one week before discharge home on oxygen from the Special Care Baby Unit.