Hola a tod@s, my dear friends.

Thanks to Elena for sending me a post from Ibone Olza´s blog simply wonderful.

Perhaps many of you don´t know who Ibone is. Ibone is Psychiatrist and professor of several Universities, researcher in multiple projects of mental and perinatal health, lecturer and freelance writer on issues of children mental health and Neurobiology of attachment, childbirth and breastfeeding, and member of the Technical Committee of the Normal Delivery Care Strategy. Almost nothing!.

So I contacted her to ask permission, reblogging and share it with all of you, because I am sure that you will love it. Thank you so much, Ibone.

It’s the Projecte Germans of the neonatal ICU (NICU) of the Hospital de Vall d´Hebron.

This is her post told in first person by a really expert:

“Entering at NASA”: this was the feeling of many parents when they came into the NICU to see their newborn, premature children or critically ill baby. I understand them, even though I had been working there year I never get accustomed to machines, monitors, beeps etc., surrounding those so fragile little persons.

I worked five years in the NICU with wonderful professionals. We always were thinking about how we could assist best to the families, how to facilitate that they could come and spend the longest time possible with their babies, how to care for them.

I remember the brothers or sisters, sometimes also spending the hours there, beside of the incubator or in the parents room, painting, playing with the nurses and auxiliaries, talking with the babies. Mothers (and fathers) who often were divided, who did not have with whom to let the older kids (who also used to be very young) to come to be with the newborn and that brought them with them almost apologizing, as if it were not the most logical thing of the world that those children were also there.

Of course, when NICUs are designed is not usually keep in mind that every baby comes and he/she is a part of a family that will also have to spend much time accompanying who is admitted.

Now I have known this project carried out in Vall d´Hebron and has impressed me. The psychologist María Emilia Dip, with the nurse Estrella Gargallo and the team of Neonatal Medicine directed by Dr. Josep Perapoch have created Projecte Germans for the brothers and sisters of children admitted to Neonatology.

According to their data, more than a half of babies admitted have brothers between 2 and 16 years. The Projecte Germans pioneer tries to minimize the stress of families offering workshops where they can play with the material of the NICU. Playing to care, with incubators, tubes, the stethoscopes and the dolls. Symbolic play as a means to overcome a traumatic situation.

Then, they visit their love´s one admitted, surely then it is much easier to understand and accept the situation.

The pictures of María Emilia Dip, psychologist trained in NIDCAP speak for themselves.

Hopeful and beautiful project, perhaps we will see soon replicated in other centres.

And above all, I wish people could understand that it is urgent that we need mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers) for healing families and babies in these difficult stays in NICUS.”

Once again, ICU of the smallest show us the path to follow: multidisciplinary work in the service of caring for others.

Many thanks to the creators of Projecte Germans, we are confident that from this movement the idea will be replicated in other places, and I hope also that one day these multidisciplinary teams of experts in mental health will be also integrated in the adult ICU.

Happy Friday,