The nurse staff at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, decided to celebrate the holidays with the sweetest present(s) of them all: ‘wrapping’ up newborns in festive, hand-crotched outfits.
This is not the first time the group has decided to dress up the newborns in their maternity ward.
“Everyone’s had a rough year so far, and it was just nice to do something special,” nurse Caitlin Pechin told Good Morning America this week.
Each and every newborn was dressed as a “present,” and Pechin was behind it all. She has kept the tradition for years, creating the knitted costumes by hand. And while she finds it “fun” to create the works of art at home, she says her favorite part is to watch the parents reaction.
“This year it probably took sometime between two and four hours to make each costume,” she shared. “I don’t even notice I’m doing it, it’s kind of like a nice little therapy thing.”
And while the hope of a vaccine has encouraged many families across the country, experts say things won’t get better for a while. In the interim, health care workers have been the hardest hit during this time.
For many parents welcoming children this year, their journey was singed with more fear than years past due to COVID-19 regulations. Many families were not allowed to accompany their partners to OB/GYN visits, and for a period of time, some couldn’t even be in the delivery room.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, initially, they recommended separation from their newborns for new mothers infected with the virus. But in July after further review, the AAP removed this recommendation.
“We want to celebrate those births, celebrate the wonderful things that continue to happen, despite of what’s happening outside our doors,” another nurse told Good Morning America. “We have new babies every single day that are the future.”
“This year looks a little bit different,” another nurse admitted to Good Morning America. “Years past, we brought all the babies together. This year, for the safety of our babies and the safety of our staff, and our families in mind, we’ve taken the celebration to the room.”
“Every baby is worth celebrating,” she continued on. “Every baby is worth an opportunity and recognized as the best present of the year.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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